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Yol. 13L Prior 1a 


MEMOIR ON SW0BD& 

By COLONEL MAEET. 


Bmitfj Sttnetratum 


TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH ET 

LIE ITT, -COL. HENEY HAMILTON MAXWELL, 

Bengal Artillery* 


LONDON : — JOHN TTRALE, 









* 


MEMOIR 


ON SWORDS- 

' -■ 

ETC. 


BY 

COLONEL MARLY, 

COMMA XWSG THE 1ST REGIMENT OV OUTRAffiBlEEa. 


TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH 
BY 

CART. & LIEUT.-COL. HENRY HAMILTON MAXWELL, 

BENGAL- ARTILLERY, 


TO WHICH ARE A1>DEI> 

NOTES AND ENGItAYINGS* 


ALSO 


TRANSLATOR OF CAPTN. TAU BERT'S WORK ON THE USE OF FIELD 
ARTILLERY ON SERVICE, FROM THE GERMAN, BEING 
VOL. 113 IN THE SEMES. 


LONDON : 

JOHN WEALE, 59, HIGH IIOLBOEN, 


18GQ. 


t t 



t f ( c c f(( 






LONDON : 

BBAD3UBY And EYAJiS*, TKINXEES, WKITEfBIARS. 


“3 vux ^ I _| T 


CONTENTS, 


PACK 

Preface ix 

PRELIMINARY. 

Chapter I.— Object op the work 1 

Chapter II. — TnE elements of the question . . . . 2 


Part I.— Of arms used for cutting. 


l 


Chapter I. — Discussion of the principles involved in arms 

USED FOR CUTTING * . 


i 


Chapter II. — Recapitulation of these principles 
Chapter III. — Examination of TnE action of certain 

AND TOOLS USED FOR CUTTING .... 


Part II. — On arms used for thrusting. 


ARMS 


7 

3$ 


41 


Chatter I. — Discussion of the principles involved in arms 

used for thrusting ... .... 47 

Chapter II. — Recapitulation of these principles . . 63 


Part III. — On arms used both for cutting and thrusting. 

Chapter I. — Discussion of the principles involved in arms 

used for both cutting and thrusting . . . .71 

Chapter II. — Recapitulation of these principles . . . 77 


iv CONTESTS. 

Part IV, — Examination of the principal arms in existence, used 

FOR CUTTING AND THRUSTING, AND RECAPITULATION, 

Chapter I. — Examination of the principal arms in existence, 

USER FOR CUTTING AND THRUSTING, AMONG VARIOUS NATIONS . 

Chapter IL— General recapitulation of proposals 


844 


LIST AND EXPLANATION OF THE PLATES. 


Fig. 1, — To illustrate the form of the Turkish sword-hilt. This sabre is 
copied from specimen No* S4o, U* S. Museum, Whitehall, and has 
the following legend attached to it : — u Damascus Sabre, given by 
Yussuf Kara man. Ali, Pasha of Tripoli, to Captain W* H* Smyth, 
R*N», K.P.M” It is flame-shaped, as recommended by the author 
for ships' cutlasses, or other blades which are not worn in scabbard s*. 
This flamboyant shape was common euough in the old straight long 
double-handed swords of the chivalric era. 

Fig, 2*— British Old Pattern Light Cavalry Sword ; the old point of which 
has been cut of to bring the new point nearer Jo the line of impulse^ 
and thus to improve its thrusting capabilities. 

Pig* 2 ft. — British New Pattern Light Cavalry Sword* 

Fig, 2 c*— New Hilt as applied to the blade of the above. There is strictly 
no ** tang” to this sword ; but the blade is prolonged to the length 
of the hilt. Two pieces of solid leather are then riveted, one on 
each side, of the prolongation of the blade, which is visible at the 
back and front. This arrangement has the important advantage of 
strengthening the attachment of the blade and hilt. The old 
method was subject to the inconvenience of the sword -tang getting 
loose in the grip, and not unfrequently the sword broke off at the 
tang, in giving a powerful blow* 

Fig* 3,“Illustrates the action of catting, and the manner in which a 
sliding cut backwards or forwards has the same effect as though 


Vi LIST AKTD EXPLANATION S OF THE PLATES* 

the blade were infinitely sharper than it actually is* (Borrowed 
from Piobert)* 

Fig* 4.— Illustrates the effect of wounds made with sabres of various 
degrees of curvature, and the high ratio of increase as the angle of 
curvature increases. 

Fig. o, — Illustrates the mechanical effect of a blow as regards the different 
parts of a s word* 

Fig* fi* —Ditto ditto* 

Fig* 7* "-Illustrates the recommendation of the author that the thickness of 
the metal of swords intended for striking should be greatest, not at 
the back as is usually the case, but at the middle, or at two-thirds 
of the breadth measured from the edge. This blade, however, is 
thickest still nearer the edge, being at about one -third of the 
breadth therefrom. This figure is a copy of a sketch I made in 
Turkey, of a sword the property of an officer in the Ottoman 
service. The weapon was made at Baghdad, The steel was of the 
quality termed “Tabau,” and its peculiar shape is called “Bala,” 
an appellation it may have got from its great power of cut, or, 
technically, percussive force ; the word “bsla,” in Arabic, meaning 
1 i vengeance*” It was valued by its owner at 7000 piastres, or about 
551 to 581 

Figs* 8, 9 a, 9 &, 10, and 11*— Sections of various forms of swords, varied 
so as to stiffen the blade. 

Figs* 12 to 20, both inclusive, illustrate the mechanical effect of the point. 

Figs* 21 to £5, both inclusive, illustrate the nature of wound made in 
giving the curved point* 

Figs- 20 to 32, both inclusive, illustrate the nature of wound, as well as 
the forces developed, in giving the straight -point. 

In both these sets of illustrations, the light shading shows the 
body wounded, and the dark shading the shape of the wound itself* 

Ftg* 33* — Shows the form of the wound made hy a blade moving onwards 
in a plane, and at the same time revolving in the same plane round 
the heel of the hilt* The above remark as to shading applies to 
this figure likewise. 


LIST AND EXPLANATIONS OF THE PLATES. 


Til 

Fig. 34,— Illustrates the blade having the edges at Its concavity. This 
figure is copied from a yataghan in the Tower Armoury. 

Fig. 35. — Illustrates the fact, that a blade acting with an edge oblique to 
the direction of the cut has the same effect as a blade whose edge is 
perpendicular to it, but whose line of action is oblique at the 
surface of the body struct. This figure is a copy of the axe of a 
guillotine, specimen, No. 1593 of the United Service Museum collec- 
tion ; the trapezoidal blade is attached to a block of wood, on the 
edges of which arc tenons fitting the metal grooves of the two up- 
rights of the scaffold. On the top of the block of pood is a mass of 
lead, to Increase the momentum, fastened thereto by means of screw- 
bolts which run through from below, and arc tightened by the 
screw-nuts at top. The dimensions given in the figure are in 
English inches. The following legend is attached to it:— “The 
axe of a guillotine, cut down by the late Admiral Scott, at Gfriadn- 
loupe, in 1794, at the taking of the West India Islands. Fifty 
Royalists had already been decapitated by it." 

Pig. 36. — Illustrates the same as Fig. 34. This weapon Is called the 
“ Khora.” It is Nepaulese, and is used, I believe, for sacrifices. 
Such feats as cutting a bullock’s head off, or entting a sheep 
through, at one stroke, arc to be done with this arm. 

Fig. 37. — Is the 11 Khookhri,” or Nepaulese knife. It is used by these 
mountaineers in war, and in every other possible way, from cutting 
down a huge tree to making a toothpick, or executing very credit- 
able carving. The ridge ou the handle seems to European hands 
ill-devised. 

Figs. 3$, 39, and 41, illustrate the shapes of daggers suitable to the thrust, 
with the blade nearest the thumb or nearest the little finger, or in 
other words for the straight or the curved stab. They arc all of 
Hindoostancc manufacture, though, possibly, of Affgban origin. 

Fig. 40.— Is a curious weapon, both offensive and defensive, combining a 
shield with two curved daggers : the latter are mounted in stag's 
horns. 

Fig, 42,— Is a curiosity in the way of small-arms. It combines the 
thrust ing-dagger and percussion pistol. It is of Circassian maun- 


LIST AND EXPLANATIONS OF THE PLATES. 


viii 


facture, and was sketched by myself in Turkey- It is the property 
of Moustapha Pasha, Lieut, -General in the Imperial Ottoman 
service. The blade is IQ ’5", the barrel of the pistol 4", and the 
hilt ft" in length. 

Fig. 43, 43 tt, 43 b } 43 c, 43 <L — T h e H in d o ostane e Tulwar, drawn to actual 
measurement, one-fifth of actual size. 


Fig* 44. “French Sword of the Cavalry of the Line, 

Fig, 45*“- ,, ,, of the Light Cavalry. 

Fig. 46. — M ^ tf of the Hors® Artillery* 

Fig. 47. — „ *, of Infantry, termed <jr briquet. 11 

Fig, 43* — „ ,, of „ termed Cf coupe-choux, 1 '' 

Fig. 49, — ,, Sword-bayonet, of the yataghan form, adapted to rifles, 

and lately adopted by the British Government. 

Fig. 50. -“French Naval Cutlass. 

Fig. 51* — Old French Light Cavalry Sword, termed l( hancal/* in xi. 


Fig. 52*— Old 
Fig. 53* — New 


Heavy 


m mi, 

in 1316* 


Fig- S 


TLATE 1. 





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PLATE 2. 



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PLATE 4. 



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PLATE C, 



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PLATE 6. 


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PLATE 7. 



















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PLATE 8. 


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IF iff, S3 

TAdslfr 







The distinguished Officer, the Translator of the interest- 
ing Memoir on S words , : ” and of the Prussian work of 
Capt. Taubert, in his zeal for the Military Service, seconded 
by the publisher, put forth a proposition for the issue of a 
Military Series ; but which, up to the present time, has not 
in high places been responded to.— J. W. 


RUDIMENTARY MILITARY SERIES. 


With a vast military force in England and in India, and 
with all the elements of military greatness, we are undoubt- 
edly deficient in that higher professional knowledge, without 
which true military vitality cannot effectually be maintained. 
In order to make this knowledge more accessible to the 
soldier and to the public at large, it is proposed to put 
forth in Volumes, a Series at Is. and 1$. Gd., on such terms 
as will be suitable to those of limited pay. 

The present volumes are faithful and careful translations 
from the German, by Lieut.-Col. Henry Hamilton Maxwell, 
of an important Prussian work on the management and 
service of artillery, and of a useful and interesting French 
work on Swords, both which I am, through the liberality of 
Lieut.-Col. Maxwell, enabled to issue at the price of Is. Gd. 
and 1$. 

The Government of the country are called upr i to render 
their aid, by permitting the republication at a cheaper rate 
of the several works issued under their sanction, which are 
now published at a price beyond the means of those who are 
filling the lower grades of the army. 

Military men of knowledge and experience are also 
solicited to contribute to this series such as would be of 
practical advantage to the soldier in his professional educa- 
tion. 

Suggestions would be thankfully received by the publisher # 


LIST OF WORKS PROPOSED FOR THE RUDIMENTARY 
MILITARY SERIES. 


1. Artillery. — On the Use of Field Artillery on Service. 

2. „ Laboratory Course — Manufacture of Gunpowder, and 

Purification of its Ingredients — Throwing up Batteries — Service of 
Artillery in Batteries — Service of Coast Artillery Repository Ex- 
ercise. 

3. Cavalry. 

4. Infantry — to include Musketry. 

5. The Three Arms. 

6. Course of Military Topography and Reconnaissances. 

7. Course of Military Administration — including every detail as 

to Baking Bread, Fattening and Slaughtering Cattle. Rations, 
various in different climates, during prevalence of certain epidemics 
— Sanitary Measures, &c. &c. — Transport, Tents, &c. 

8. Field Fortification — to include Siege Duties for all Arms. 

9. Outpost Duties. — Advance of Rear Guards, including Treatment 

of Spies, both those of the enemy and own. Signals, day and 
night — Telegraphs, &c. 

10. Complete Course. of Study for Regimental Schools. 

11. The Horse, as a military animal — to include Management — 

Veterinary directions — Qualities — Judgment of — the Kind adapted 
to Draught — Riding — Burden. Likewise Camels, Bullocks, Mules, 
Elephants. 

12. Practical Gymnastics. 

13. Interior Economy of a Troop or Company. — Returns — Forms — 

Public Correspondence — Finance — Promotion — Discipline — Instruc- 
tion, mental and physical — Idem of a Battalion — Embarcation — 
Foreign Service — Hints for the Line of March — Feet — Boots — Kit, 
method of carrying — Cooking in the Field and in Quarters — Water 
— Battle — Pitching Tents — Making Huts — Clothing — Clothing, hot 
and cold Climate. 

14. Military History and Art. — Narratives of Battles — Why they 

were lost or gained — Tactics. 

15. Military Bridges — in all parts of the world. 


TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE. 


The original work, of which I offer a translation to 
the public, was published at Strasburg in 1841, and 
has since become very scarce, being now out of print* 
It was only after repeated efforts, during several years, 
that I succeeded in procuring the copy I now possess, 
and it is a second-hand one, having been presented, 
as appears by an inscription in the handwriting of the 
author, to a friend* This copy, however, was not des- 
tined to remain quietly in my possession, as it fell into 
the hands of the Kohilcund mutineers, who, not un- 
derstanding French, I presume, flung it out on the 
Grand Trunk Road, near Allyghur* Fortunately for 
me, it was taken to the magistrate of the district, and 
by means of an advertisement in a newspaper, it once 
more came into my possession, and I was thus enabled 
to make this translation* 

It may be said to be “ a heavy blow and great dis- 
couragement *' to a man, who has resolved to translate 
a hook, to he met at the outset by an obstacle in the 


X 


PREFACE. 


shape of the very first words of the title-page — to find 
that the languages into which it is to be rendered 
does not contain words capable of succinctly giving 
the meaning of those in the original. Such is the case 
with the work in question ; and, strange to say, this is 
not the first time I have met with this rebuff in a pre- 
cisely similar manner. The title in the original is 
“ Memoirs sur les Armes-blanches .” The last two 

words, connected by a hyphen, form a generic term, of 
which we have no synonym : it includes all portable 
arms, other than fire-arms , defensive and offensive , 
made of steel or iron; thus comprising swords of all 
sorts, bayonets, daggers, boarding-axes, pikes, lances, 
&c., among offensive arms; and cuirasses of the heavy 
dragoon and sapper, as well as helmets of all natures, 
&c., among defensive. What the French term indi- 
cates in two words, I have been compelled to translate 
by fifteen. Any person, then, I conceive, who would 
invent a word, or combination of words, and cause it 
to be accepted by the military world, which would 
succinctly convey the meaning of this French tech- 
nical term, would make a most acceptable addition 
to our essentially poor military terminology. I have 
endeavoured to do so, and have failed signally, as have 
many abler men to my knowledge. And lest any one 
should consider the addition of such a term to our 
military technical vocabulary a species of sacrilege on 
our language, let me quote the words of an excellent 


PREFACE. 


Ki 

authority on the subject * Alluding to the introduction 
of new words into the English language, he says : — “ I 
do not refer here to purely scientific terms ; these, so 
long as they continue such, and do not pass beyond 
the threshold of the science, or sciences, for the use of 
which they were invented, being never heard on the 
lips, or employed in the writings, of any hut culti- 
vators of these sciences, have no right to be properly 
called words at all. They are a kind of short-hand of 
the science, or algebraic notation ; and will not find 
a place in a rightly- constituted dictionary of the 
language, hut rather in a technical dictionary apart 
by themselves.” The new word, or combination of 
words, if even it be invented, to quote further from 
the same authority, should be formed “ according to 
the analogy of formations which, in seemingly parallel 
cases, have been already allowed:” As a further proof 
of the legitimacy of thus making a new word current, 
I may state that the Germans have literally translated 
f£ Armes -blanches ” into “ Blanken-waffen,” and this 
term lias been universally adopted by their military 
writers. 

I have been induced - to make and publish this 
translation, because I am not aware of the existence 
of any work on swords, &c., in the English language, 

* The Very Reverend R, Clienevix: Trench, Dean of Westminster, author 
of “English, Past and Present,” and other admirable works on our 
languages, at p. 68 of the book quoted* 


xii 


PREFACE. 


save a diminutive pamphlet by Wilkinson, the sword - 
cutler ; and because the original, recommended in the 
highest terms by Tliiroux, a French writer on artillery 
of the first class, appeared to me to go to the bottom 
of the question with the most profound sagacity, com- 
bined with practical and scientific knowledge. That 
his readers, if such this translation of the author s 
work is destined to have, may endorse this opinion, is 
my most sincere wish. 

The original work has no plates. I have endea- 
voured to supply what might be thought a defect, 
having made sketches, and copied plates of arms, 
&c., in various parts of the world for the purpose. I 
trust they may tend to elucidate the text. I have 
further added a few foot-notes as occasion seemed to 
require. 

H. H. M. 

Agra, 

Sept. 1859. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 

"V 1 ; |j 

PRELIMINARY. 

CHAPTER I. 

OBJECT OF THE WORK. 

X, Being garrisoned at Strasburgh as an officer of 
artillery, I employed myself in researches upon swords. 
I practised with them so as to he able to use them 
efficiently, and acquired sufficient dexterity in so 
doing. The neighbourhood of Klingenthal enabled 
me to make up, at my own charges, a great number of 
swords of different patterns, all of which I tried suc- 
cessively. These labours were interrupted by the 
expedition to Algiers, and by a sojourn of nine years 
in Africa. Having served in that country as a cavalry 
officer, 1 always wore a sword of the pattern X propose 
for adoption, and found it a serviceable weapon. This 
memoir gives the results to which these researches 
led. 

2, I propose to examine the reasons which deter- 
mine the shape of swords, to collect them together in 


R 


8 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS* 


the form of principles, and to apply these principles 
to the examination of the usual patterns ; finally to 
deduce therefrom a few new- pattern arms, which I 
submit to the lights of the general officers of artillery 
and cavalry, to the end that these essays should induce 
other officers to invent patterns susceptible of adop- 
tion, if those which X propose are not approved of* 
Feeling certain that my ideas will be found to be 
sound and of useful application, I shall consider my- 
self fortunate if my labours conduce towards adding 
to the number of the many improvements lately intro- 
duced in the various branches of the important services 
of the artillery and cavalry* 

3* I am aware that the success of cavalry depends 
more on the ability and courage of the men than on 
the shape of their swords. It is reasonable to believe, 
however, that a good weapon adds to the soldier’s con- 
fidence; at any rate, it may be interesting to lay down 
the principles which enable us to appreciate the quali- 
ties of any given arm ; and, on the other hand, any 
requisite qualities being given, to determine the shape 
of the blade that shall possess them. 


CHAPTER XL 

THE ELEMENTS OF THE QUESTION. 

1. The object of offensive steel arms is to produce 
on the animal economy of an enemy serious injury, 
such as shall result in his death, or in putting him 


MEMOIR ON SW'OBDS* 


S 


hors de combat . The requisite depth of wound lias, 
according to time and place, been attained by striking 

First — With a surface , more or less extensive, such 
as with clubs, maces, mallets of arms. 

Second — With a line, as with all cutting weapons : 
sabres, axes, scythes, &c. 

Third' — With a pointy as with all arms intended to 
be used in thrusting : lances, poniards, bayonets. 

Fourth — With arms which penetrate, impregnated 
with poisonous substances, as were, and are still, in 
use in many savage nations. 

The march of progressive improvement made in 
steel weapons is characterised by a gradual diminution 
— of the mark left by the body striking on the body 
struck, whether the former be a surface , a line, or a 
point — of the amount of exertion required to inflict a 
wound of the requisite depth — of the weight of the 
weapons — of the muscular force necessary to wield 
them — and likewise by an increase of their actual 
efficiency. 

2* Contusive weapons appertain more particularly 
to the barbarous ages, when the metals were but little 
known, and when physical force was of more account 
than dexterity. 

Poisoned arms, likewise, are only used by savage 
nations but little advanced in civilisation* Their arms 
are made of wretched materials, such as hardwood, 
bones, stones, &c. * they are ignorant of the method of 
shaping them into the most judicious forms, and they 
can only thus procure the means of inflicting serious 
injury; to them war is generally a series of single 


4 


MEMO IE ON SWOEDS. 


combats, in which the combatant strikes with the de- 
sire of destroying a personal enemy, and with all the 
bitterness of savage irritation ; while, on the other 
hand, war between civilised nations is carried on by 
masses, and, generally speaking, with coolness. It is 
remarkable that no ancient nation renowned for its 
military successes, used poisoned weapons. Neverthe- 
less, the army which first employed these means 
before the invention of gunpowder, must have created 
a profound moral impression upon its enemies before 
coming to hand-to-hand combat. Poisoned, like con- 
tusive, weapons are in keeping with a state of civili- 
sation in which a conquered enemy is scalped or 
eaten. 

Cutting arms were and are still much used. They 
have attained a degree of perfection which enables 
them to produce the most extraordinary, not to say 
incredible, effects. One portion of the cavalry in 
Europe is exclusively armed with weapons of this 
nature. In France the effect of the point is more 
particularly relied on. 

8. lu nature we find the lower orders of creation 
armed in a manner almost analogous to ourselves, 
thus : 

First — The effect of the blow of a club may be com- 
pared to that inflicted by the head of a ram, the trunk 
of an elephant, the hoof of a horse, the fist of a man, 
the wings of certain birds, and the tails of a crocodile 
and of certain fish* * 

Second — The tusks of a wild boar appear to be the 
sole cutting arms given to animal creation * for the 


MEMOIR ON S WORDS. 


5 


fangs of other creatures tear rather than cut, and seem 
to be intended to penetrate first, and to hold on after- 
wards. 

Third — The tusks of an elephant, the horn of a 
rhinoceros, those of a bull, the canine teeth of the 
carnivora— their fangs, the quills of a porcupine, the 
peculiar arms of the saw and sword fishes, are all in - 
tended for thrusting. 

Fourth— Bees, scorpions, and venomous serpents 
inject poisonous matter into the wounds they inflict* 

Fifth — There are some animals who fight by means 
of projectiles : among other creatures, the ostrich.* 

The offensive arms of the animal creation resemble 
those employed by the first men ; they are generally 
contusive in their nature, or they give point, or em- 
poison. The cause of this similarity is that it is 
extremely difficult to supply the place of the metals by 
other materials possessing the qualities requisite for 
cutting instruments. 

The tusks of the wild hoar, which literally cut, do 
not act from the centre to the point like our sabres, 
but by penetration primarily and cutting subsequently ; 
they could not he much longer without prejudice to 
their strength. 

The commonest arms are those intended for thrust- 
ing. The carnivora, who live by making war on other 
animals, use their incisor teeth to kill their prey, as 
poniards are used in stabbing. 

We shall have occasion to draw inferences from the 

* When pursued he dashes stones at his pursuers with great violence.— 
Cimer. — T. 


6 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


form affected by the arms given by nature to the brute 
creation, applicable to our own weapons, 

4. Swords seem at first to have been intended for 
thrusting, and at a later period for cutting, and this 
with moderate efficiency. We shall see that these two 
qualities are compatible in the same arm. We will 
proceed to examine separately that w hich constitutes 
each of these qualities. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS* 


7 


PART 1 

GIT ARMS USED FOR GUTTING* 


CHAPTER I. 

DISCUSSION OF TIIE PRINCIPLES IN ARMS USED FOR 
CUTTING* 

1* In making a cut, the sword is brought down 
with great Telocity on the body struck ; this velocity 
is obtained by a species of rotatory motion, engen- 
dering a centrifugal force* Tlie velocity of rotation 
acts on the body cut into; the centrifugal force is 
counteracted by the resistance of the wrist, and bears 
upon tlie little huger : in cutting with a sword, using 
much force, the little finger sustains very great pres- 
sure* In the Turkish scimitar (Figs* 1 and 7) the 
region of the grip, whereon the little finger bears, is 
very wide ; in the curved British sword (Fig* 2) it is 
moderately so ; and in ours, not only is this part very 
narrow and its angles quite sharp, but it has occasion- 
ally several most injurious ridges left thereon by way 
of ornament* Further, most of our swords (Figs* 44^ 
4o, 40) hurt the little finger, and even excoriate it, if a 
cut be made with force, or if £f moulinets ” * be prac- 

* If a straight stick be grasped by the thumb and index-finger at their 


8 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


tised with them. The hear mg of the little finger on 
the grip should be wide and smooth : this is a matter of 
the most essential importance* 

As to the line of direction of this part of the grip, it 
should vary according to the nature of sword exercise 
in use ; many swords, which are acknowledged to be 
well made, have the grip at this point inclined to its 
general run and gradually sloping into it, so that the 
actual bearing of the little finger is situate in the 
rear of the junction of these two lines ; others, again, 
have the hearing perpendicular to the grip, I have 
tried both the one and the other plan, and it seemed 
to me that, if the first system were preferable for light 
swords intended exclusively for cutting, the second is 
more adapted for our swords, which are tolerably 
heayy, and intended principally for thrusting, 

2, A cut is effected by the combined motions of the 
upper and fore arm, the wrist, and the sword in the 
hand. If a series of cuts be made, in each of which 
one of the above-named portions of the body be used 
separately, while the rest are kept rigid, and if the 
marks successively produced by the sword be left on 
tli in wooden planks, we shall find that the cut due to 
the wrist motion is the most effective; that when the 
whole of the motions are made in combination, the 
sword lies in a direct line with the fore arm, and that 
it often passes that line, and finally that the motion of 
the sword in the hand has a most notable effect. All 
things being in other respects identical, the greater the 

junction, and if it he whirled round and round continuously, these are 
“ mouIiiieW* T. 


ME MG IH ON SWOIiBS, 


9 


amount of space traversed by the cutting edge in equal 
spaces of time, the greater will be its velocity and the 
more effective its action. 

Hence we deduce these con elusion s- — 

1st — The grip has all the more play the narrower 
it is crosswise— that is s in the direction of from back 
to edge of the blade, hut more particularly at the 
points where it is held by the index and little huger, 
these two having the greatest effect on the lever acting 
inside the hand. 

2nd — The grip should be smooth, so that friction 
may not check motion in the hand, and that no un- 
evenness of surface may hurt it. It is more especially 
of great importance that nothing at the grip, nor at 
its side, should injure the index and little huger, as 
is the case in several patterns. 

The grip of the Mameluke sabre (Figs. 1 and 7) is 
smooth, narrow in the direction of the width of the 
blade, and wide in a perpendicular direction thereto. 
The curved British sword (Fig* 3),* which, like the 

* The author all through his work speaks of the old British Light 
Cavalry sword as an admirable weapon for cutting, and his judgment is 
remarkably confirmed by the following interesting extract from Captain 
Nolan’s hook on Cavalry : — 

'When I was in India an engagement took place between a party of the 
Nizam’s irregular horse, &e. .... My attention was drawn particu- 

larly to the Doctor’s report of the killed and wounded, most of whom 
suffered by the sword, and in the column of remarks such entries as the 
following were numerous 

“ 'Arm cut from the shoulder,’ 

1 f ( Head severed* r 

u 1 Both hands cut off (apparently at one blow) above the wrists, in 
holding up the arms to protect the head,* 

“ * Leg out off above the knee, Ac.’ 

And now fancy my astonishment 1 


10 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


above, is very well fashioned, has a grip which is 
narrow at both ends and bulges out in the centre ; the 
bulge exerts no injurious influence. 

3 rcl. The thumbs should not be placed on the back 
of the blade in striking with the edge, as laid down in 
the French regulations ; for, under such circum- 
stances, the motion in the hand and that of the wrist 
cannot have play. Among nations famed for the 
extraordinary effect produced in cutting, the system of 
sword-exercise is in accordance with this idea. 

4th. Several other positions prescribed in the French 
regulations relative to the manner of using the edge 
should be modified. In the motion, “ a gauche sahrez ” 
(left attack), for instance, the sword is carried to the 
right in the direction of the extended arm ; a cut from 
this position cannot possibly be a powerful one. To 
produce a serious effect with a sword in this motion, 

“ The sword-blades they had were chiefly old dragoon blades cast from 
onr service. The men had remounted them after their own fashion. 
The hilt and handle, both of metal, small in the grip, Tather flat, not round 
like ours when the edge seldom falls true ; they all had an edge like a 
razor from heel to point, were worn in wooden scabbards, a short single 
sling held them to the waistbelt, from which a strap passed through the 
hilt to a button in front, to keep the sword steady and prevent it flying 
out of the scabbard. 

“ An old trooper of the Nizam’s told me the old English broad blades wero 
in great favour with them, when remounted and kept as above described ; 
but as we wore them, they were good for nothing in their hands. 

“I said, ‘ How do you strike with your swords to cut off men’s limbs 1 ’ 

“ ‘ Strike hard, sir ! ’ said the old trooper. 

" ‘Yes, of course ; but how do you teach them to use their swords in 
that particular way ? ” {drawing it.) 

“ ‘ We never teach them any way, sir ; a sharp sword wiU cut in any 
one’s hand.’ ” 

Pp. 110, 111, 112, “Cavalry : its History and Tactics,” by Capt. 

L, E. Nolan. 2nd Edit. London : 1854. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS* 


11 


the arm should not be extended, nor should the thumb 
be on the back of the grip ; while the blade, instead of 
being in the prolongation of the fore-arm, should be 
thrown backwards forty -five degrees beyond the per- 
pendicular and lie close to the shoulder : thus the cut 
will not only be animated with the velocity due to the 
arm, but further with that caused by tiie wrist making 
the point describe three -eighths of a circle in the same 
period of time — this being the result of the difference 
between the original and the proposed positions of the 
sword. 

3. The edge, to act with full effect, should have the 
rest of the blade included in the plane it describes ; in 
order that the momentum resulting from the velocity 
and the volume should actuate if. The breadth of the 
blade contributes towards keeping itself in this posi- 
tion ; for the air has an effect upon it analogous to that 
of the wind upon a weathercock, the plane of which 
adjusts itself in a direction determined by the position 
of its pivot and the direction of the wind. 

The hilt, when its centre of gravity is not in the 
plane of the blade, has, on the other hand, an opposite 
and injurious influence in the above respect. Thus in 
our cavalry swords the branches of the guard are 
placed on one side only, while the front branch is in 
the centre ; they consequently tend to destroy the 
Aplomb (equilibrium) of the cut, and to cause the blade 
at the moment it meets with resistance from the body 
struck, to turn the fiat of the sword in the direction of 
the side branches. 

Swords intended exclusively for cutting are 


12 MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 

symmetrical, and have generally but one branch ; the 
Turkish sabre has no branches whatever. Swords 
intended for both thrusting and cutting appear to 
require a defensive hilt. It is quite possible, and it 
seems desirable, that it should be made symmetrical. 
In many patterns it is so ; but if one side of the hand 
ought to be more guarded than the other, which may 
be fairly admitted — as in the ordinary position in 
pointing with the wrist in tierce, it requires to be 
more defended on the side exposed to the enemy than 
on the opposite one — it is at least desirable to diminish 
the injurious influence of the want of equilibrium, 
by placing the front branch not immediately in the 
centre, but on the opposite side ; at the same time 
making it stouter and heavier than the other branches. 
In this manner we should apparently gain as regards 
an equal distribution of the weight of metal, while at 
the same time the* hand would be better guarded. I 
have had several hilts made up of the pattern described ; 
the advantages gained seem to entail no corresponding 
disadvantages. 

4. The sharper the edge, that is to say, the narrower 
the base of the triangle by which it is formed, in 
proportion to the perpendicular let fall from the apex 
to the base, the greater is the faculty of penetration. 

Many swords have a very fine edge ; this is attended 
with the disadvantage of weakness. The advantage 
of combining strength with an edge which cuts as 
though it were very sharp, has led to the blade being 
made more or less curved. 

To account for the effect thus produced, let us 


MEMOIR OX SWORDS, 


i-3 


imagine a blade (Fig, 3) whose cross section is trian- 
gular; that this blade strikes a body obliquely, and 
that the oblique mark left on the blade by the body 
struck is double the height of the similar mark which 
would be left on the blade, by striking perpendicularly, 
or from edge to back. In the former case the blade 
would have cut as though the triangle which forms the 
cross section of tlie edge had for its base, the constant 
quantity the thickness of the back, but a double 
height; or, mother words, as though the angle of the 
edges were sensibly half less. 

In a cut made with full velocity, the blade at the 
moment it comes in contact with the body struck 
should lie in the direction of the fore-arm; it strikes 
in a direction nearly perpendicular to the prolongation 
of the origin * of the blade. The greater the inclina- 
tion of the part of the edge which strikes to that line, 
the greater will be the length of the mark left on the 
blade by the wound. 

In the Mameluke scimitars, this inclination amount s 
to forty -five degrees ; the length of the mark left is 
generally more than double the width of the blade, and 
it may be quintuple when the edge is slipped across 
the object, as usual in producing delicate effects, such 
as cutting r a sheet of paper suspended by a thread. 
Thus the Turkish blade cuts as though it were from 
twice to five times as sharp as it actually is. 

Certain wide-bladed swords and halberts have edges 

* The term “ origin ’ 1 of the blade or hilt is used throughout both the 
original and the translation in a mathematical sense ; in the same manner 
as in treatises on the straight line or on curves, the origin ** of the one 
and the other is spoken of. T. 


14 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


serrated like a saw, that is to say with many teeth, 
inclined to the direction of the stroke at an angle of 
forty- five degrees; this facilitates penetration like the 
curvature of the Turkish blade. But this formation 
of the edge being essentially weak was not, and could 
not, be adapted to any but the very strongest and 
stoutest blades. The same may be said of the wavy 
or flame-shaped edge (Fig. 1),* which moreover is 
attended with the like quality. 

In the British light cavalry sword (Fig. 2), which 
is less curved than the Damascus blade, this effect is 
still tolerably apparent ; it is nearly nil in our patterns 
which are but slightly curved. Of this we may con- 
vince ourselves by examining and comparing the marks 
left on the blades by the object struck in our patterns, 
in other swords of equal curvature but in the opposite 
direction, and in purely straight swords. We may 
account for this too by remarking, that if between two 
parallel lines (Fig. 4) we draw one at right angles, and 
further other lines, making small angles with the per- 
pendicular, the differences of the lengths of the lines 
comprised between the two parallels is very trifling, 
while it increases vastly as the angle approaches forty- 
five degrees, and much more as it exceeds that angle : 
thus practice and theory agree in this matter. 

It is not necessary that the cutting edge should be 
inclined to the origin of the blade to produce the effect 
of a more acute edge ; it is merely requisite to alter 

* As a specimen of a flame-shaped or wavy blade, I give a sketch, at 
Fig. 1, of a “ Damascus Sabre, given by Yussuff Karaman Ali, Pasha of 
Tripoli, to Captain W. H. Smyth, R.N., K.F.M.,” No. 845 of the collec- 
tion of arms in the United Service Museum, Scotland Yard. T. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


15 


the direction of the force of the blow, by causing the 
edges to glide upon the object struck by a peculiar 
motion of the wrist from front to rear. This is 
practised in the broadsword exercise, in which the 
combatant endeavours to keep his point opposite his 
adversary’s body as far as possible ; this is termed 
“ sawing.” A sensible effect of velocity is thus ob- 
tained, without which penetration would have perhaps 
been impossible. The normal velocity in this cut, 
which is almost tangential, is feeble ; consequently the 
steel has but a slight effect in compressing the flesh, 
which merely sustains a feeble pressure in a normal 
direction. The edge in the cut acts as though it 
were from ten to fifteen times sharper. This style of 
cut is particularly applicable to cutting soft sub- 
stances ; it is not so, on the other hand, with hard 
substances. For the latter a blow is required having 
great momentum, resulting from the velocity and the 
weight of the weapon. 

The surgeon’s bistouri and the table knife both cut 
by sawing, as though they were from ten to fifteen 
times sharper than they actually are, varying within 
those limits according to the nature of the tangential 
motion given to them. 

The Mameluke scimitar, owing to its curvature, 
cuts like a straight sword of equal length and thick- 
ness, but of a breadth about four times as great, whose 
edges would be four times as acute. 

A straight knife used with an alternate motion cuts 
as though, length and thickness remaining the same, 
its width were from ten to thirty times as great, and 


10 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


consequently as though its edge were from ten to 
thirty times as sharp. 

Thus, when the edge is perpendicular to the stroke, 
it penetrates like a wedge having the same angles ; 
hut when it is oblique to the direction of motion, it 
penetrates as though the angle of the edge were more 
acute, and this effect increases with the obliquity. 

This advantage may be obtained by malting the 
blow in the ordinary direction, and with the usual 
velocity, but having the edge oblique (Fig. 35),* or the 
edge being straight, by causing it to act with a sawing 
motion. The latter method adds much to the effect 
of the pressure, and to a blow made with small normal 
velocity, but it is by no means applicable to cutting 
through aught but soft substances. 

To make a sword which shall act with an edge in- 
clined to the direction of the blow, may be effected in 
various ways. The blade may be straight in its 
general direction, the edge being cut saw-fashion, or 
into a flame shape, or the edge of the blade may have 
a general inclination to the origin of the blade. 

The effect is much increased by the curvature of 
the blades, as in the Mameluke sabre ; it is less, but 
still tolerably apparent in highly curved European 
blades ; and it is insignificant in those of slight 
curvature, as in the last French pattern. 


* The guillotine is a case in point, and as few persons have seen either 
a specimen or a drawing of this instrument, I append, at Fig. 5, a sketch 
of the “Axe of a Guillotine, cut down by the late Admiral Scott at 
Guadaloupe in 1794, at the taking of the West India Islands. Fifty 
Royalists had already been decapitated by it.” It is preserved in the 
United Service Museum, Scotland Yard, and numbered 1593. T. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


17 


It is to be remarked that it is by an analogous effect 
that pointed instruments endowed with a rotatory 
motion penetrate under pressure — as for example, 
screw-augers and corkscrews. The separation of the 
fibres caused by the point is no longer the effect of a 
simple cone, having an inclination in conformity with 
the lines of the sides of its generating angles; but 
rather as though this angle, having the same base, had 
for a side the curved line described by one of the 
extremities of the base, or as though this angle were 
very much smaller. 

This further explains one of the advantages of the 
rifle; since a ball endowed with a rotatory motion 
cleaves more easily through the air, and more especially 
through the object struck: this being tantamount to 
having a greater velocity at the moment of impact ; 
and more than this indeed, for with equal velocities, 
its penetration would exceed that of a musket bullet* 

5. With a sling a bullet 1* may be thrown with very 
considerable velocity, approaching to that of a musket 

* This boring action is treated as absurd by Bobuis, at p. 334 of his 
famous work “ New Principles of Gunnery,” for he says, “the rifles 
(grooves) of the piece diminish the velocity of the bullet, and consequently 
its powers of penetration.” The original French work having been pub- 
lished in 1841, there can hardly be question of a conical bullet. Nor, 
according to my ideas, can the case of a fluid, like the air, be deemed 
analogous to a fibrous substance, like wood or flesh. 

f Bullets made of lead, called in Greek molybdidcs and in Latin gland es, 
and of a form between an acorn and an almond, were cast in moulds 
(Lucretius and Ovid), to be thrown from slings. They have been 
found on the plains of Marathon and in other parts of Greece, and are 
remarkable for the inscriptions and devices which they exhibit, such as 
thunderbolts, the names of persons, and the word “dexai,” meaning 
“Take this.” I have measured such a gland ; it was 1 "IS" in length, 
0*71" in breadth, and 0*62" in thickness, and weighed 686 grains, about 
the weight of our old Minie bullet. T. 


IB 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS* 


bullet fired with a small charge* This velocity is 
communicated to the projectile by a motion of rotation 
of the hand and of the lanyards of the sling ; the 
lanyards are of about the same length as a sword* 
We may imagine consequently, that the edge of a 
sword is capable of acquiring very great velocity, and 
one almost analogous to the sling; hut for this purpose 
the weapon must he very light ; we may likewise 
observe that lightness is one of the qualities of all 
swords known for their powers of cutting well. To 
this end the advantage of a protective hilt is sacrificed 
in the Mameluke sabres, and the British, Prussian, and 
Hungarian curved swords have but a single branch to 
the hilt* 

In cutting with full force, the velocity of the hilt of 
the sword is much less than that of the point of the 
blade, precisely in the same manner as that of the 
wrist whirling a sling, and of the bullet which it pro- 
jects* Several foreign regulations insist on the arm 
and fore -arm being almost stationary in giving certain 
cuts* 

Some weapons, sucli as battle-axes, two-handed 
swords, act by means of great volume and small 
velocity* If, on the one hand, they produce great 
effect, on the other, they are heavy, difficult to handle, 
and their system of fence is hut little favourable to 
vivacity of attack and defence* The nations most 
famed for the use of the sword are armed with weapons 
so light, that the edge attains a velocity which may 
he compared to that of certain projectiles* The mo- 
mentum in both cases is the same, only that in the 


>IEH0IB ON BWOEDg. 


ID 


latter, it is composed of a light weight multiplied into 
a great velocity. The velocity of the point of a sword, 
in making a cut which produces a great effect with the 
edge, may be estimated perhaps at about fifty metres 
(1G4 feet) per second. 

G. In tlie cut, a sword should be considered in the 
light of a projectile, of which the portion in the 
neighbourhood of the point has a much greater velocity 
than the hilt. The hand gives it this impulse, and 
does not act by pressing the sword on the body to he 
penetrated at the moment of impact. 

For the velocity to he a maximum, the origin of the 
blade, after having traversed a large space, should be 
in the line of prolongation of the fore -arm. 

By experiment we shall find that the portion of the 
blade with which the object should he struck, depends 
on the shape of the sword. In straight patterns it is 
situate at a point about tw'O decimetres (eight inches) 
from the point of the blade. 

At the moment of impact, the whole of the sword 
moves with an impulse perpendicular to the object 
struck, but with a velocity diminishing from point to 
hilt. We will examine how the different parts of the 
sword act. 

Let us suppose (Fig. 6) the edge to strike at a 
distance of two decimetres (eight inches) from the 
point, there will be three parts of the sword acting 
differently, namely, the part between the spot which 
strikes and the point; again, the par fan the other side 
of this spot, having an equal momentum with the 
former and being of about equal length ; and finally, 


20 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS* 


the rest of the sword between the end of the second 
part and that of the liilt* 

The two first parts form a whole, the impulse of 
which acts in equilibrio on the point struck : let us 
call this whole A, the length of which is about four 
decimetres (sixteen inches) from the point 

The remaining portion of the sword will act agreeably 
to the doctrine of the decomposition of forces : we will 
call it R, 

The examination of the effects produced by A and R 
is most important : we shall make some approximate 
calculations in this matter* 

Let us admit, what is very near the truth, that A 
weighs one -fourth of the total weight, P, of the sword, 
and consequently one- third of the weight of R ; that 
the velocity of the centre of gravity of A is fifty metres 
per second, and five times greater than that of the 
centre of gravity of R* The weights will he 

V 

” for A. 

4 

3 P 

for R. 

The velocities of the centres of gravity will he 

50 metres for A< 

10 metres for R< 

The momenta (the weight into the velocity) will be 
represented— 

for A, by — X 50 or P X 12‘5 ; 

3 P 

for R, by -j— x 10 or P x 7'5* 

That is to say, that the momentum of A is to that of 
R in the ratio of 125 to 75, or as 5 to 3* 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


21 


The momentum of A will be entirely applied to the 
body struck at its centre of gravity : it is not so, how- 
ever, with R, 

If, at the moment of impact (Fig, 5 and 6), the sword 
were not restrained by the hand, the part B would 
follow its impulse, and would tend to turn round the 
point struck, thus adding little force to the stroke. 
But if the wrist become a fulcrum, the part K will act 
as a lever, the fulcrum being at the wrist, the power 
of which will be the momentum acting at the centre of 
gravity, and the resistance is at the point struck, that 
is to say, at the centre of gravity of A. The force, 
placed at A, acting in the opposite direction, which 
would keep the impulse of R in eqttiUbrio, or, in other 
words, the effect of It at that point, will be therefore 
to the momentum of E in the inverse ratio of the dis- 
tances of the centres of gravity of R and A to the centre 
of the hilt, that is to say, in most swords nearly as 1 : 4, 

Thus, not only is the momentum of A to that of R 
in the ratio of five to three, but further, the effect of 
E upon the point struck is only represented by one- 
fourth of its momentum. We will calculate the ratio 
of these effects. 

The effect of A is represented by the momentum 
P x IS' 5 the whole of which acts fully on the object 
struck. 

The effect of E is one-fourth of the momentum 
P x 7 l oorP x 1*89. 

The ratio of the two effects is thus — 

P x 12-5 12 5 _ 

P x 1*89 1-89 or °’ 6 * 


22 


MEMOIR OX SWORDS. 


A produces consequently nearly sevenfold the useful 
effect of R. 

Experiment confirms this train of reasoning. Thus, 
first, if the part A be joined to the part R by a hinge, 
a cut may be made almost as well as with the entire 
sword : second, if a sword be placed vertically in 
equilibria) point upwards, and that the part Abe struck 
with a stick, as though to cut the latter through, the 
sword will he thrown backwards, the part A with con- 
siderable velocity and the hilt much more slowly. A 
sort of motion of rotation round the latter as a centre 
takes place; third, in the axe, the metal head is the 
part A, R is the handle, whose weight is only just 
sufficient that the material may he of adequate strength. 
Maces and clubs are constructed on this principle. 

The chief action of the sword is thus due to the last 
four decimetres (sixteen inches) of the blade next the 
point. The part A should be as heavy and be endowed 
with as great velocity as is possible. The rest, R, of 
the sword has a much inferior effect. 

The necessary liveliness of the motions of attack 
and defence require that the weight of the sword should 
not exceed certain limits. On the other hand, a soldier 
requires a sword to be what is termed well balanced, 
that is to say, that there should be a certain ratio 
between the weights of the blade and hilt, such that 
the whole weapon should not be too heavy near the 
point, which would be inconvenient, nor too light, 
which wmuld not admit of its inflicting a powerful blow. 
The centre of gravity of the sword should be at a 
distance from the hilt varying according to the patterns. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


23 


which experiment will easily determine for each 
pattern. 

To give a sword its whole power of cutting without 
altering either its weight or the position of its centre 
of gravity, the weight may be increased at each end 
and decreased in the centre, and to effect this, first the 
part A should be made heavy ; second, the rest of the 
sword should be lightened as much as possible ; third, 
the hilt should be made lighter; for instance, it might 
be made of steel, which will give the same amount of 
strength with much less weight ; fourth, the pummel 
should be weighted. A sword thus made would be 
light, well balanced, and have great power of cutting. 

It is to be remarked, that to move the sword in the 
hand, Ave must cause the index and little finger to act 
successively as fulcrum and power to re-act on the hilt 
and on the sword generally, as on a lever, the resist- 
ance being the whole weight applied at the centre of 
gravity. If the distribution of the -weight of the 
various parts be altered without changing the position 
of the centre of gravity on the total -weight, the re- 
sistance and its point of application will remain the 
same, and the sword will be equally well-balanced after 
the alteration in the distribution, as previous to it. 
We must admit, then, that the alterations above recom- 
mended are not to the prejudice of the facility of 
handling the sword. We may observe further, that 
though the sword be lightened, the amount of force 
required to move it in the hand may remain the same 
although the arm of the lever be lengthened, that is to 
say, that cceteris paribus, the lighter the sword the 


24 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


further its centre of gravity may be from the hilt, 
without prejudice to the balance of the sword. 

In cutting with a straight sword, the point having as 
much velocity as possible, the edge impinges on the 
object in a normal direction, and the hand may act in 
two ways : 

First — If it be checked suddenly, the part R contri- 
butes its decomposed forces to the stroke,* reduced, as 
we have seen, to one-fourtli of the momentum. 

Second — If the hand be not checked, but prolong the 
motion, it produces two effects : the first is to give 
the blow a certain additional amount of force, which 
must be still further much reduced from that above 
calculated, as the fulcrum from which the forces are 
decomposed no longer exists ; the second is due to 
the fact that the prolongation of the motion of the 
hand causes the edge to slip over the point struck, and 
gives it a greater faculty of penetration by making it 
cut as though it were much sharper. 

Both methods of cutting are in use, and may be 
employed according to the pattern of sword, its velo- 
city, and the nature of the object to be cut. The first 
s} r stem gives the more powerful blow, and the last is 
necessary in producing certain delicate effects. The 
first is prescribed in the German cavalry sword-exer- 
cise; we may add that it is that which should be 
generally practised, and that the second can only be of 
service in exceptional cases, which are more curious 
than useful as applied to military affairs. 

In the Mameluke sabre, the part A is much longer 
than in straight sw T ords, owing to its curvature; it 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS, 


25 


extends as far as two -thirds of the whole length of the 
blade ; the centre of gravity of the part E is much 
nearer the point than in our patterns, in consequence 
of the lightness of the hilt, it re-acts with greater force 
on the stroke, because it is situate nearer the point 
struck, and because its action tends, in consequence of 
its curve, to give the part A a sawing motion. The 
lightness of the scimitar admits of the part A being 
made heavy ; further, this sword acts with an immense 
amount of elective momentum. 

The curved British sword is very thin, but very 
broad at the part A, which, in conjunction with a con- 
siderable curvature, gives this weapon great capacity 
for cutting* 

Our swords are not heavy enough at the part A; hence 
they strike with little percussive force, and cut badly* 

In the pattern which I propose, the blade, between 
A and the hilt, is as narrow as possible. The hilt 
being made of steel, is light; the part A is broad and 
thick. This sword is well balanced, and with equal 
weight has more percussive force* 

By making the edge narrower and more obtuse be- 
tween the part A and the hilt, the blade is weakened. 
If the action of the sword were due to the force of the 
hand pressing it on the object, this arrangement would 
be of prejudicial importance ; but the case is not so* 
The part E is not intended for cutting, but serves 
neither more nor less than the purpose of a handle to 
give the part A both velocity and direction ; the great 
velocity is at the part A ; it is here that swords break 
oil impact ; the part E is much less likely to be in- 


26 


MEMOIR OH SWORDS, 


juredj because in that part the velocity is less and the 
effect of impact on the blade less sensible, as it only 
acts by decomposition of force, 

7. The fineness of the edge has very great influence 
upon the effect produced by the stroke ; it is as neces- 
sary to the good effect of the sword as resin is to that 
of the violin bow. We have seen how the penetrative 
power of the blade may be increased, and the same 
effect produced as though the edge were much sharper 
— by curving the blade, or by a sawing stroke* The 
fineness of the edge gains in its effect in the like 
proportion. 

The fineness of the edge depends upon the material 
of which the sword is made. The first cutting arms were 
made of very hard wood, or of bones or stones. In the 
tombs of ancient warriors are found stone -arms used 
in war : the edge of all these arms is tolerably obtuse. 
Bronze and iron were far inferior to steel for this pur- 
pose, Finally, the selection and manufacture of steel 
for the purpose of making well- cutting sword-blades 
constitutes a special trade of great importance to the 
efficiency of this weapon. The stuff, without being 
brittle, should be sufficiently hard to take an edge 
which should he at once very fine and able to resist a 
blow r . It is this latter quality which constitutes one 
of the great merits of Eastern blades. The edge can 
be ground very fine, and it will retain its sharpness 
much better than if made of more ordinary steel* 
As it is absolutely requisite that the edge should he 
capable of withstanding a blow, the nature of the 
material must determine its angle* 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


27 


Our French swords have been much improved lat- 
terly, as regards both the stuff and its temper; but 
they have one great fault which may very easily be 
avoided : they get soon blunted. The best-sharpened 
sword, if it is drawn out of the scabbard and re- 
turned three or four times, has but a dull edge, 
because it rubs in these motions against the metal of 
the scabbard, especially at its mouth. As the fineness 
of edge of the sword is an essential condition to effi- 
ciency in cutting, it seems to be imperatively necessary 
to have battens in the scabbard which shall protect the 
edge, preserving it from every species of shock or 
friction against steel, in drawing and returning, and 
this not only inside the scabbard but more especially 
at its mouth. 

8. Bodies which are intended to traverse resisting 
mediums, affect peculiar forms having a certain analogy 
between each other; these are dependent upon the 
velocity, volume, and surface of the penetrating body, 
as well as upon the nature of that penetrated. In 
general terms, these forms have either a point or an 
edge which cleans the bod} r to be penetrated, a swell 
the maximum thickness of which has a variable posi- 
tion as regards the whole length of the body, and an 
end likewise terminating in a point or edge ; besides 
curved surfaces connecting these three portions. 
Such are the forms of fish intended to move through 
the w’ater, of birds through the air, of the submerged 
part of water-fowls, as w r ell as of the sections of ships 
and boats in the like situation. In no case is the 
widest part situate at the end opposite to that which 


38 


MEMOIR ON SWOEDS. 


forces the passage ; on the contrary, it is invariably 
in the other half. 

The greater the velocity of penetration the more 
does the length of the body increase in proportion 
to its width, and the more, likewise, does the extreme 
width approach the part which penetrates. 

Generally speaking, fish are from four to five times 
the length of their greatest depth, and are at the 
same time comparatively narrow; their maximum 
depth and thickness are ordinarily situate at about 
one-fonrth or one-third of their length from the head. 
They cleave the water in the direction of their 
depth, by two inclined curves, which facilitate pene- 
tration in the same manner as the curve of a sabre, 
acting as though the depth were less than it actually is. 

The plough-share cleaves the earth and thrown the 
sod to one side ; to effect this, the plough-share has 
one part which cuts vertically, a second which cuts 
horizontally, and a third which displaces the earth 
cut and throws it out of the furrow. The latter is 
not fiat like the face of a wedge; it is curvilinear 
in form, after the same fashion and with the same 
object as is the right side of the submerged portion 
of the bow of a boat. 

Judiciously made arrows have a swell in the shaft; 
the latter, instead of being cylindrical, increases in 
thickness from the point to about one-third of the 
length, and thence diminishes to the end. 

There would be, doubtless, less eddy caused by 
the piers of bridges, and less action of the water 
thereon, if their horizontal section, instead of being 


MEMOIR ON SWQHDS* 


29 


a rectangle rounded at both ends, were shaped more 
like that appropriate to the submerged part of a boat 
catting through the water at the same velocity as 
that of the current. 

If Congreve rockets were shaped agreeably to this 
idea, they would meet with less resistance from the 
air- I am not aware whether there may not be 
other considerations opposed to the adoption of this 
form. 

The shape of a bullet or of a round-shot is not 
that best adapted for penetrating the air and the 
object fired at; but it is necessitated by other cogent 
reasons. But for these, projectiles ought to cleave 
the air by a point ; their thickness should then in- 
crease up to a certain distance, whence they should 
slope away until they ended in another point- They 
would thus lose less velocity from the resistance of the 
air, and with equal velocities would penetrate deeper 
into the object struck* 

I think that in certain cases rifles might carry pro- 
jectiles of the above- described form. We know that 
a bullet projected by an arm of this nature moves 
with the part struck by the ramrod invariably forwards 
through the whole of the trajectory. If a Tyrolese 
ride he loaded and the hall afterwards extracted, we 
shall find on examination that it is still spherical 
on the side next the powder— that it has become 
cylindrical and marked with a few grooves at the part 
which was in contact with the sides of the bore — and 
that it is flattened on the side struck by the ramrod. 
This shape is but little adapted for penetration, and it 


30 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


would be preferable that the flattened portion intended 
to cleave the air and the object should be made conical 
— an arrangement which might be easily enough 
effected by coning out the end of the ramrod. The 
latter suggestion is, however, by no means applicable 
to heavy rifles which throw bullets from six to eight 
to the pound. It would be necessary that the bullet 
should be of the usual calibre and of the same weight, 
but should be elongated in form, ending in a point 
anteriorly. Not only would the projectile, under 
these circumstances, have a greater force of pene- 
tration, but these heavy rifles might be loaded 
with the ordinary cartridge — a matter of no small 
advantage. 

"We may account for the peculiar shape of these 
penetrating bodies by the following considerations : — 

When one body penetrates another, it may act 
either by tearing, cutting, or carrying away w||Ji it 
whatever may be opposed to its course. Thus, let 
us suppose a cloth stretched on a frame, a stone 
thrown by the hand will traverse it by tearing, a 
stroke with the edge of the sword by cutting, and a 
musket-bullet will make a hole through it of its own 
diameter. 

When a round-shot strikes sand or stones, we per- 
ceive that these substances are driven with great 
velocitj^, which frequently renders them dangerous. 

The same effect takes place when a round-shot rico- 
chets on water. 

If a round shot penetrate into water, it should 
likewise in its course drive the liquid opposed to it 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


31 


before it, the shock of which ought to be serious to a 
living creature immersed in the water in the neigh- 
bourhood of the trajectory of the projectile. In the 
air, an analogous effect takes place, producing what is 
termed the “ wind of the shot” I have been enabled 
to satisfy myself on this point, during experiments car- 
ried on with twenty-four pounders firing large charges. 
If at ten metres (thirty-three feet) from the muzzle, 
the shot pass from one to two centimetres (0*39 — 079 
inch) above a glass full of water, it was emptied ; over 
a frog, it was killed ; above an apple, and it was soft- 
ened as it would have been under great pressure.* 

* I have always looked upon this question of the effect of the wind of 
a shot, as a most difficult one to form a satisfactory opinion upon. One 
author supports the idea that it is dangerous to the human frame ; while, 
on the other hand, I have read in medical books that portions of the dress 
of sailors and marines, on board men-of-war, have been carried away by 
round-shot fired at close quarters, without injury to the wearers. I have 
further heard related, by a personal friend, a circumstantial account of an 
officer engaged at Sobraon being turned black and blue by the same cause ; 
and, per contra , it is an undoubted fact, that Brigadier Russell, of H.M.’s 
84th Foot, had a gold chain cut in two by a round-shot at the back of his 
neck, without sustaining further injury than that resulting from a fall on 
the occasion, due to the peculiarity of the local position in which he was 
standing. The cases stated by the author are staggering enough ; but 
what are we to conclude from the following experiment ? — 

“The fact that a cannon ball, passing close. by a living subject, exercises 
lateral pressure on the air sufficient to produce a contusion, has often been 
asserted, and as often denied. On this disputed matter M. E. PSlikan, of 
St. Petersburgh, has just presented a paper to the Academy of Sciences of 
Paris, giving an account of certain experiments, instituted with a view to 
set the question at rest. Having obtained the concurrence of the Russian 
Government, M. PSlikan caused a cylinder of sheet-iron, one foot in 
diameter, to be constructed, with a piston moving easily inside. The 
piston-rod was provided at its outer extremity with a black-lead pencil, to 
mark the recoil on a slip of paper. The whole apparatus was firmly fixed 
on a strong wooden frame. The piston and piston-rod weighed 8 lb., and 
a force of 14 lb. was requisite to make the piston-rod recoil an inch. At 
four metres (13 feet) distance from the frames a wooden screen was erected, 
in order to ascertain the distance of the projectile from the piston at the 


32 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


The above effects are identical with those obtained 
by discharging an air-gun containing a great quantity 
of compressed air, but without a bullet, against the 
same objects; if the air-gun be discharged against the 
flesh at a distance of one centimetre (0*39 inch) it 
brings blood. A round-shot moving with great velo- 
city, and passing very close to a man, should cause a 
very dangerous shock, the effect of which would in- 
crease with the calibre. 

If a musket be discharged so that the bullet strike 
the flat of a book, the projectile acts by tearing, if it 

moment of its passage. Although the experiments instituted in 1843 and 
1844 in the Arsenal of Washington, by Ensign Mordecai, proved that at 
the distance of 48 feet the gases emanating from the powder have no effect 
upon the ballistic pendulum ; a second screen was placed before the other 
at a distance of five metres (16 feet) from the apparatus, in order to protect 
it, if necessary, from the action of these gases. A 401b. howitzer (7*7 
inches calibre) was then placed at a distance of 14 metres (46 feet) from 
the first screen, the charge of powder being 41b, ; the velocity of the 
projectile at that distance was equal to that of a bomb-shell projected with 
a 7 lb. charge— viz., 956 feet per second. The results obtained showed : 
1, that at a distance of three inches, tlic piston remained immoveable ; 2, 
that even when the projectile broke off a part of the wooden frame sup- 
porting the iron cylinder, the piston gave no indication of motion ; 3, but 
that if the projectile just grazed the surface of the piston, a recoil of two 
inches was obtained ; 4, if, on the other hand, a fragment of the frame 
hit the cylinder, the piston, instead of moving backwards, would move 
forwards about 3£ lines ; 5, if the cylinder, instead of being placed parallel 
to the screens, was placed obliquely, a recoil would take place of from one- 
quarter to one-half of an inch. Hence M. Pfilikan concludes that since the 
piston required a force of 1 ilb. in order to be moved one inch, and the 
wind of a cannon-ball can never be expected to exercise such a force, the 
passage of a projectile close to a living subject will only produce an insig- 
nificant effect, which cannot amount to a contusion.” — Extract from the 
Times newspaper. 

The conclusion come to by the experimenter is doubtless justified, and, 
so far as it goes, is perfectly satisfactory ; but it would have been desirable 
had the description been a little more lucid as to the position of the cylin- 
ders and piston in each case, and that the piece of ordnance bad been a long 
gun giving a velocity of 1600 feet per second. T. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


33 


does not pass through it ; hut if its velocity he suffi- 
cient to carry it through, it clears a passage ; the 
orifice is of a diameter equal to the calibre of the 
bullet, while the exit is from about twice to thrice that 
diameter ; because the portions carried forward by the 
bullet are driven with great velocity, and thus become 
projectiles themselves : so that at the exit the effect is 
more than double— clue to the bullet and the parts of 
the object carried before it. 

It is remarkable that with high velo cities soft sub- 
stances and even liquids can pierce through hard 
bodies ; thus, with wax, tallow, grease, or water, a 
board may be traversed by firing them from a musket 
from a short distance ; —these experiments I have my- 
self made. Penetration, in such case, takes place, 
because there is a certain volume combined with 
velocity and adequate condensation. But when the 
distance is much increased, these bodies no longer 
penetrate, by default of velocity and more particularly in 
consequence of diffusion, water being reduced to spray. 
Further, certain sportsmen load their guns with water 
instead of dust-shot, so as to kill birds without injuring 
their plumage. 

In cutting a branch off a tree by a very swift blow 
of a sword, the portion so cut off is endowed with a 
certain velocity, which usually carries it to the distance 
of a metre {3 '3 feet}* The cause and effect in this 
case are identical with the above* 

A round -shot traversing certain sorts of timber, if 
the velocity be high, makes a passage for itself without 
carrying away the piece* After the shot has passed, 


M 


MEMOIR SWORDS. 


there is no hole in the timber. The fibres of the wood 
separate, and then close in again. 

In this last case the effect approaches closely to that 
which takes place in striking with cutting weapons ; 
the velocity causes the edge to penetrate ; the blade 
enters the wound by thrusting aside the parts divided, 
while these again close in ; if the blade be in the shape 
of a wedge — if its greatest thickness be at the back— 
the divided parts, in closing in again, press against the 
blade and diminish the amount of penetration. If, on 
the other hand, the blade be shaped so that its thick- 
ness diminishes from the neighbourhood of the cutting 
edge to the back, and that this edge, on coming in con- 
tact with the object, be sufficiently sharp to produce 
adequate incision ; and again — if, in the combination 
of the two motions, the penetration of the sword and 
the resistance of the parts, the latter do not take place 
until the blade has passed, the result should be that 
there would be no pressure or friction exerted on the 
blade, excepting in the part near the edge where it 
cannot be avoided ; consequently, the amount of pene- 
tration would be greater with a blade so shaped than 
with a wedge-shaped blade. 

The blow of a man acts by contusion or laceration ; 
the edge of a sword, by incision only. The point acts 
by incision and separation. The vertex of the angle 
having penetrated, the edges, if they be sharp, divide 
the substance by incision, while the thickness of the 
side faces acts by separation. If the point be blunt at 
both edges, it penetrates by separation. 

Some much -improved patterns of Oriental sabres 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


35 


are formed in a manner which seems to be the appli- 
cation of the above remarks. The greatest thickness 
of the blade is not at the back, but about mid-way 
or one-tliird way from the edge, whence it gradu- 
ally diminishes towards the back.* There are some 
few European swords (Fig. 7) which already cut well, 
susceptible of improvement in the above manner. 

The principle admits, further, of application to arms 
intended for pointing. The edges of the metal, con- 
necting the point with the back and cutting-edge, 
should not form abrupt angles at the jioints of junc- 
tion ; it is evident, further, that they should not be in 
the same straight line; these edges should, conse- 
quently, form curves commencing at the point and 
running away into the lines of the back and cutting- 
edge. Experiment, indeed, proves, in trying swords of 
both shapes, that the latter penetrate with by far the 
greater facility. 

9. The object of the sword-knot is to prevent the 
sword from dropping completely, in the case of its 
being knocked out of the hand. It is easy to compass 


* The Translator saw a sword, evidently of the pattern alluded to, in 
Turkey, in 1853. A sketch of it is given at Fig. 7. The owner, a 
Turkish officer, valued it at 7000 piastres (about £50). Ho said it 
was of Baghdad manufacture, that the steel was of the quality termed 
“Taban,” and that its shape was called “Bala.” It certainly was the 
handiest weapon ever the Translator held ; its power of cutting was 
evidently enormous, and it had but one trifling disadvantage, namely, the 
preposterous size and shape of the scabbard, the back of which was open 
down to the first ring, about three inches. In the United Service Museum, 
Scotland Yard, London, may be found two specimens of this sort of sabre, 
but vastly inferior in finish and value to the one above-described : viz. , 
“Nos. 810 and 811 — Turkish Pirate Sabres, presented by Lieut. G. W. 
Roberts, R. A.” The length of the blade, measured along the chord of its 
curve, was 27 inches. 


3G 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS* 


this object, without injuring the capacity of the sword 
for cutting; this cannot be said of our sword-knot. 
1st. It is too stiff, thick, and heavy, and has too much 
swing in consequence of the weight of the end ; it is 
inconvenient, and hut little used ; the trooper prefers 
a handkerchief rolled up, which weighs little, and is, 
further, supple and convenient, 2nd, It is fastened 
to the hilt at the spot where the little finger bears, and 
seriously impedes its action. 

In the Mameluke scimitar, the sword-knot is made 
of silk ; it is very light and thin, and is attached to the 
sword by being passed through a hole bored in the 
hilt in a direction perpendicular to the flat of the blade, 
and in the centre of the rounded part whereon the 
little fingers bears.* The object is thus attained with- 
out being attended with any injurious effect. 

Our sword-knot should be made of silk or goat's 
hair; it should he about three millimetres (012 inch) 
in thickness ; it should, further, have a light sliding- 
loop, and the end should be a simple knot without an 
acorn ; nor should it be fastened to the main branch, 
but to the next one— by which arrangement it would 
be impossible for it to interfere with the bearing of the 
little finger. I look upon this matter as by no means 
unimportant to the efficiency of the cut, 

10. In former days swords were worn horizontally, 
and this is still the custom among certain nations. 
To hang thus, it is requisite to have two billets which 
will keep the sheath in that position, being attached 

* Vide Fig. 1 , for the Turkish sword-knot and the m^uer of attaohiDg 
it to the hilt. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


nr 


thereto in such a manner that the centre of gravity of 
the sword and scabbard shall be situate between the 
two points of attachment In 35 nr ope, since the 
middle of the last century, the sabre and sword are 
worn by being hung vertically ; one billet alone is 
actually of use — it is that which is fastened to the 
scabbard above the centre of gravity, Tlie second 
billet has* however* been retained ; of it we may say, 
that it is unnecessary* of no utility, and that it entails 
the following disadvantageous circumstances : 1st. 

The band to which the ring is attached seriously in- 
jures the shabracque by striking against it in conse- 
quence of the motion of the horse. 2nd. This same 
band frequently catches under the quarter of the saddle 
in the Heavy Cavalry at a trot, producing a jerk which 
drags the rider downwards in a very unpleasant manner, 
3rd, When the trooper is mounted the greater billet 
forms a long loose bight. It consequently frequently 
catches some portion of the neighbouring rider's ac- 
coutrements or dress ; the spur of the latter has been 
known to catch in it with the chance of a serious acci- 
dent, At all events, it is the cause of injury and 
disorder. This is more especially the case when going 
at a fast pace, and coming about by fours or by troops. 
4th. For the above reason* it frequently catches on the 
Valise and incommodes the trooper in dismounting. 
It has happened, too, that a man having been thrown, 
he has thus been dragged by his horse while running 
away, 5th, It sometimes gets between the saddle and 
the horseman, 6th, It cannot be said that if the short 
billet break the long billet would support the sword ; 


38 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


for in such a case it would hang hilt downwards, the 
sword would come out of the scabbard and fall to the 
ground. 7 th* The point where the long billet is fast- 
ened to the waist-belt is the cause of grievous incon- 
venience in such corps as wear the belt oyer the coat ; 
this point should be placed between the two waist- 
buttons behind ; the thickness of a man's waist varies 
according to his condition and the clothes he has on; 
the position of the short billet at the left side is inva* 
liable; if, then, the long billet be sewed on the waist- 
belt, it would be necessary to shift the swing whenever 
the circu inference of the man’s waist altered, in order 
that the long billet might still be between the two 
buttons : to avoid this, it has become necessary to 
attach a strap to the lower side of the waist-belt along 
which the loop of the long billet may run. 

To recapitulate : the long billet is a useless weight, 
a troublesome bit of gear, hurtful and sometimes dan- 
gerous. It seems to he only rational that it, together 
with its band and ring on the scabbard, should be 
abolished. 


CHAPTER II* 

RECAPITULATION OF THE PRINCIPLES INVOLVED IN 
ARMS USED FOR CUTTING, 

The peculiar conditions which are involved in the 
fact of a sword cutting will seem to be the following 
First — That part of the hilt whereon the little finger 
hears should be wide and smooth. 

Second — The grip should be smooth, and nothing 


MEMO IB ON BWOEDS. 


39 


should be allowed to impede the action of the index 
and little fingers. 

Third — The grip should be as narrow as possible in 
the direction of from back to edge of the blade, especi- 
ally where it is grasped by the index and little fingers. 

Fourth— In cutting, the thumb should not be placed 
on the back of the grip* 

Fifth — If the guard of the hilt be not symmetrical, 
its main branch should be stout, and placed, not in the 
centre, hut on the side opposite to the other two* 

Sixth — The hilt should be light, and consequently it 
would be well if it were made of iron or steel ; the 
pummel should be slightly loaded with metal. 

Seventh — The triangle which forms the edge should 
be increased in height in that part of the blade which 
comes in contact with the object. 

Eighth — The curvature of the blade has the effect 
of giving the sword a finer edge. This effect is very 
marked in the Mameluke sabre ; it is imperceptible in 
slightly curved blades. The same effect is attained by 
the flame -shaped blade, by a serrated edge, by sliding 
the edge on the wound, termed “ sawing.’ 1 

Ninth — The velocity has a great effect on the stroke, 
and consequently the same may be said of the lightness 
of the sword. 

Tenth — The lighter the sword the further may the 
centre of gravity be placed from the hilt without 
destroying the balance. 

Eleventh — The last four decimetres (sixteen inches) 
next the point is the pnrt which acts in cutting, and 
is much more effective on impact with the object than 


40 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS, 


the rest of the arm. Unless the blade have a peculiar 
power owing to curvature, this portion of it should be 
thick for the sword to have great percussive force. 

Twelfth - — For a straight sword to have great percus- 
sive force, and to be at the same time light and well 
balanced, the last four decimetres (sixteen inches) next 
the point must be thick ; the remainder of the blade 
should he light, and have its centre of gravity towards 
the pummel, which, consequently, should he slightly 
loaded. 

Thirteenth — The fineness of the cutting-edge is of 
the greatest importance for a sword to cut well. The 
steel must be well tempered, it must take a very fine 
edge, and be at the same time sufficiently strong to 
resist a blow. The scabbard should be so made that 
it shall not dull a well- sharpened edge ; it should he 
consequently lined with wooden battens reaching up to 
its mouth. 

Fourteenth — The greatest thickness of blade in the 
part intended for cutting should not be at the back, 
but between it and the cutting-edge, at a distance 
dependent upon the velocity of the stroke. This im- 
provement is more applicable to swords which are 
specially intended for cutting. 

Fifteenth — The sword-knot should be light, supple, 
and without a big or heavy acorn end ; it should be 
fastened to the middle branch of the hilt, so as not to 
incommode the little finger. It should be made either 
of silk or goat’s hair, instead of leather. 

Sixteenth — The long billet of the sword-belt, as well as 
the band and ring on the scabbard, should be abolished. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


41 


chapter in; 

EXAMINATION OF THE ACTION OF CERTAIN ARMS AND 
TOOLS USED FOR CUTTING* 

From what has been above stated, we in ay be able to 
appreciate the merits and demerits of certain arms and 
tools used for cutting* 

The Mameluke sabre has a smooth grip, narrow 
in the direction of from front to back of the blade ; 
the part upon which the little finger bears is very 
broad; the hilt has no guard so as to be light; the 
grip is narrow in all directions in the neighbourhood 
of the blade — thence it increases in dimensions to- 
wards the pummel ; the weapon is symmetrical with 
reference to the plane of the blade ; the latter, owing 
to its shape, is strong, defends well, and has a great 
power of cut, to which the immense velocity with 
which it can he wielded, owing to its lightness, notably 
contributes* This sabre is well balanced, and yet its 
centre of gravity is distant from the hilt; in conse- 
quence of the excellence of the stuff of which it is 
made, it takes a very keen edge capable of resisting 
a stroke by the real angle of its edge, while it cuts as 
though that angle were much more acute* The greatest 
thickness of the blade is not at the back ; its scabbard 
preserves the fineness of its edge ; the sword-knot is 
light and judiciously attached to the hilt* This weapon 
strikes with the velocity of a projectile, and takes by 
surprise— so to speak— any light object, in the same 
manner that a bullet would pierce a delicately hung 


42 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


weathercock ; it is, at the same time, capable of pro- 
ducing surprising effects on resisting bodies. The 
Mameluke sabre embodies combination of qualities 
such that it may be said to be perfection ; it is impos- 
sible to imagine any improvement in it ; as a cutting 
weapon, it is a chef d' oeuvre, like the Tyrolese rifle 
among fire-arms. 

The curved British sword (Fig. 2) has likewise great 
capacity for cutting ; the grip and hilt are well con- 
structed, but the sword-knot is attached at the bearing 
of the little finger, which is injudicious. The blade is 
of good steel an£ well tempered ; it has great percus- 
sive force, is light, and takes a fine edge. This 
weapon is inferior to the Mameluke sabre in cutting 
moderately soft substances : much more so for delicate 
strokes, such as cutting a handkerchief in the air, or 
a sheet of paper placed flat on the table ; but it is per- 
haps superior to it in its effect on hard substances, such 
as cutting the ashen shaft of a lance — that is to say, 
when the stroke should fall like an axe to avoid fric- 
tion. This sword would be more powerful, perhaps, 
if the blade were lightened from the grip to the part 
A, and made heavier at the cutting part. If, with these 
alterations, it were not well balanced, although light, 
the grip might be weighted at the pummel. The 
cutting part should be thickest about mid-way across 
the breadth, and not at the back. The British sword, 
as a European arm, has the fault of being in no way 
calculated for thrusting. 

Our present light cavalry sword (Fig. 45) has several 
faults above exposed as to the hilt, grip, and sword- 


MEMOIR ON SWOBDS. 


43 


knot* We may add that not only does the hilt injure the 
little finger in the act of cutting, but that the copper 
wire on the grip impedes that motion* and that 
“ moulinets”* being practised for a few minutes* 
suffices to wear a hole in the glove* or to injure the 
hand* Its curvature is too small to have any per- 
ceptible effect ; its percussive force is feeble in conse- 
quence of the lightness of the cutting part* The 
scabbard destroys the fineness of edge* 

The old light cavalry sword termed “ Baneal ” t has 
a portion of the same faults ; its curvature being 
greater* however* its power of cut is increased* and of 
thrust decreased. Its percussive force is greater* con- 
sequent upon the width and thickness of the blade at 
the part which acts in cutting. 

The horse -artillery sword (Fig* 46) is short* lieavy- 
liilted, and light at the part A ; it thrusts very badly, 
in consequence of its curvature, and cuts badly because 
it has little percussive force, A straight sword of the 
same length, made as above described as regards the 
blade, and having a wide bearing for the little finger 
at the hilt, would cut and thrust very much better. 

Several patterns of heavy cavalry swords, intended 

' * Vide note, p* 7. T* 

f This word means u bandy-legged.” and is applied familiarly to this 
particular sword, owing to its curvature probably. Most of the weapons 
in use in the French service have similar nicknames. The short, straight, 
infantry sword, intended to he used as a fascine- knife, goes by the soubri- 
quet of u coupe choux” (cabbage- cutter)* (Fig* 48). The old infantry 
sword in Napoleon the First's time, and still in use in some corps (Fig* 47), 
was called a “Briquet” (a steel for striking fire by a flint), kc- So iu 
like manner with us, an infantry officer's sword is facetiously termed “ a 
spit,” or “a bread- earner, 1 ' both of which names it seems to deserve, but 
for different reasons* T* 


u 


MEMOIR ON SWOEDS. 


to be used exclusively for thrusting, have a blade 
witlx three blunt edges, the latter being intended 
to give it rigidity* The angle of the cutting edge is 
consequently very obtuse, and the sword but little 
adapted for cutting. It is thence, I think, that arises 
the erroneous idea that straight swords never cut well* 
The present heavy cavalry sword has the same defects 
as that of the light cavalry. 

The old infantry <( Briquet 51 (Fig. 47) has a hilt 
faulty as to weight, size, and the sharp edges of the 
surface on which the little finger bears* The blade is 
tolerably good for cutting with; but with the same 
weight, a much better weapon could be made* 

The infantry officer's sword has not only a bearing 
for the little finger, but thereon are certain ornamental 
ridges (the same ornament exists on the cavalry officer’s 
sword, constituting in both cases, a most important 
defect) ; the hilt is not symmetrical, the grip is not 
smooth, the blade has little percussive force, the 
curvature but slightly augments the power of cut ; it 
should be supplied with a sword-knot* 

The whole of the last-mentioned swords appear to 
me to be easily susceptible of improvement by the 
application of the above detailed principles* 

Tools used for cutting differ from arms used for the 
like purpose, as the latter require to be light to admit 
of rapid motion in attack and defence, — to be shaped 
for defence, —to be strong enough to be proof against 
violent blows, — to reach to a distance— and finally, to 
be conveniently portable in a scabbard* 

We shall see that incisive -power is conferred on edge 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


45 


tools — first, by pressure, or by well distributed weight 
combined with velocity ; second, by fineness of edge, 
increased in some instances by the obliquity of the 
direction of penetration. 

Billhooks, sickles, hedging-bills and scythes have all 
sharp edges, the action of which is increased by 
obliquity of penetration, producing the effect of an 
edge from two to four times sharper than it actually is. 

The carpenter’s plane is large as to mass, and its 
cutting edge is oblique. 

Our species of pickaxe has its cutting edges drawn 
to a point in the centre, in order that it may penetrate 
the better by cutting obliquely. 

The butcher’s knife cuts by an alternating motion, 
similar to sawing, while his cleaver, analogous in its 
whole length to the part A of the sword, acts without 
the effect of curvature. 

Some axes combine great momentum with oblique 
penetration of the cutting edge. 

In certain foreign states the headsman makes use of 
a long straight sword, which is heavy, broad, and sharp ; 
it is wielded in both hands, and strikes at a short 
distance from the hilt ; it acts afterwards by a drawing 
motion up to the point. The velocity is feeble, the 
mass great, and the effect of the cutting edge thus 
much increased. 

Elsewhere, a short, heavy, wide, and highly curved 
sword is made use of, requiring but little dexterity. 

An equal amount of momentum, and an equal 
augmentation of the effect of the cutting edge, are like- 
wise obtainable with light swords, made wide at the 


4G 


MEMOIR ON SAVOBDS, 


part A, and highly curved* The velocity compensates 
for the want of mass ; such swords require dexterity in 
their use. 

There are, further, certain swords used for capital 
punishment, which are straight and light ; one deci- 
metre {four inches) wide near the end, and very thin at 
the part A ; they act consequently with the same power 
of cutting as the Mameluke sabre, hut they are too 
weak to be used in combat* 

The yataghan, (Fig, 84,) the instrument used in 
executions in the East, acts by the weight of the part 
A, and the velocity due to the lightness of the weapon* 
Its curvature does not assist in the cut* 

I have seen an instrument used for the same purpose, 
like a Mameluke sabre, hut broad and thick ; the hilt 
and the neighbouring parts are replaced by a long 
wooden handle adapted along the back of the blade* 
It is wielded in both hands, and has great power of 
cutting* 

The instrument used in capital punishment in 
France, (Fig* 85,) acts like a plane, by its great mass 
combined with a moderate velocity and a cutting edge 
oblique to the direction of the stroke* The combina- 
tion, however, of the three is hut indifferently arranged* 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS* 


47 


PART II. 

ON ARMS USED FOR THRUSTING, 


CHAPTER 1 

DISCUSSION OF THE PRINCIPLES INVOLVED IN ARMS 
USED FOE THRUSTING* 

The object of arms of this nature is to cause tlie 
point to penetrate as deeply as possible into the body 
struck. Let us examine the circumstances necessary 
to compass this object, 

1, The point may penetrate either from simple 
pressure of the wrist, or merely by the velocity with 
which the weapon is moving, or by the combination of 
these two forces ; herein it differs from the edge 7 which 
generally penetrates simply by the velocity of the 
sword* Consequently, in a weapon used for thrusting 
only, lightness is not so absolutely necessary; its 
weight is merely determined by what is requisite for 
rapidity of movement in attack and defence, 

2. For tlie thrusting stroke, it is requisite that the 
blade should be rigid, so as not to break or to lose a 
portion of the impulse by bending. 

To obtain this rigidity of blade, divers means have 
been employed, nearly all based on a great thickness 
of metal ; thus : 


48 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS- 


1st. One method was to give the blade three edges, 
on each side, (Fig. 8,) one towards the back, another 
in the centre, and one towards the cutting edge ; 
the latter was consequently very obtuse* This weapon 
is light, rigid enough, and little qualified for cutting* 
2nd* Another {Fig. 9) is to increase the thickness 
of the metal at the back, and decrease its width, so 
that the total weight remains the same ‘ its rigidity is 
moderate, and the weapon cuts better. 

3rd. Another (Fig. 10) is to make a highly projecting 
edge at one side of the blade ; this sword is very light 
and rigid ; but it is little calculated for cutting, as much 
for want of symmetry as from the surface which this 
lateral projecting edge opposes to penetration* 

4tli. Lastly the blade lias been made (Fig, 11) with 
three edges symmetrically situated, as is the case in 
certain short swords ; an arrangement which gives great 
rigidity and lightness, at the complete sacrifice, how- 
ever, of the power of cutting, 

It seems to me that greater rigidity is obtainable, 
by making the back very thick without prejudice to the 
power of cutting, and that by way of getting rid of the 
excessive weight consequent thereon, the back might 
be fluted, I have had blades made up on this plan 
and of very many differing patterns. I consider the 
arrangement very judicious. It has moreover this 
advantage, that the process of fluting the back being 
carried out after the blade is hardened, the edge retains 
the proper degree of hardness, while the back being 
slightly tempered by the grindstone becomes less 
brittle. 


MEMOIR OX SWORDS. 


49 

3. The stroke the., point, is of two kjmds. Thus 
with a lance, every pcrticnpf i xts i mass moves in a ( di^ct 
and parallel line. The resultant of all these forces 
passes through the points, which has consequently 
communicated to it the total amount of the existing 
momentum* 

The point of the battle-axe, on the other hand, only 
acquires the direct impulse of the volume of the metal 
head, while that of the handle is only communicated 
to it by the decomposition of the forces involved. 

The sword is attended with analogous effects* In 
pointing in tierce agreeably to the regulations, it is 
just possible that the whole impulse of the weapon may 
have the resultant of the parallel forces passing 
through the point. But in the position of “ Guard " * 
of the broadsword exercise on foot, the point of the 
sword is higher than the wrist, and is not directed at the 
breast of the opponent. To thrust it is necessary to 
advance the wrist and lower the point, so that the 
different parts of the sword move with different veloci- 
ties and in different directions. Swords should vary 
in shape according to the habitual use of the former 
or latter system of pointing. 

Let us imagine (Fig* 13} a rectangular blade having 
a sharp edge at one of its lesser sides, to be pushed 
vertically against a horizontal surface intended to be 
penetrated by the cutting edge— like a carpenters 

* The words here in tlie original are <f cn garde,” and the position 
appears by the context to correspond to the “ Inside Guard ” of oar 
infantry sword- exercise. 1 regret not being able at this moment to refer 
to the French sword- exercise, to satisfy the reader and self on this point. 

844 


IS 


50 MEMOIR QN SWORDS, 

chisel, upon, the head of which, a. blow is struck with a 
pallet, The resj. stance .^staiqe'd* will depend on the 
angle of the edge, on the force actuating it, and on 
the hardness of the substance to be penetrated* If the 
edge of the blade hearing on the surface he inclined, 
instead of being perpendicular, to its long side as in a 
plane iron {Fig* 13), the resistance met with will be 
diminished. The greater the inclination of the edge, 
the better will it penetrate ; for, among other reasons, 
this inclination will give it the effect of being pro- 
portionately sharper, as is the case with the cutting 
edge of a curved sabre. 

Let us suppose that the edge forms an angle of forty 
degrees with the long side of the blade (Fig. 14) ; let us 
compare its power of penetration with that of a blade 
(Fig. 15) whose edges, instead of being in the plane of 
one of the sides, forms a salient angle of forty degrees, 
symmetrical as regards the long faces of the blade, 
admitting in both cases that the impulse is in the 
vertical direction, or in that of the long side of the 
blade. The tool having the edge in the centime will 
penetrate better than that having it at the side, 
because the two faces of the edge of the former will 
act at angles of twenty degrees with the direction of 
the blow, while the edge placed at one side of the tool 
will act at an angle of forty degrees, thus having less 
cutting power. 

If in the second of the above supposed cases (Fig. 
16) the direction of impulse still pass through the edge, 
but from a direction exterior to its angle, although 
contained in the same plane as the blade, penetration 


MEMOIR OX SWORDS. 


51 


would take place as though the angle at the apex were 
the sum of the angles contained between the two faces 
plus the angle contained between the direction of 
impulse and the face nearest thereto. 

4. If the resultant of the forces of impulse do not pass 
through the apex (Fig. 17), there will ensue a decom- 
position of forces, one part tending to drive the edge 
into the surface, and the other to cause the blade to 
turn around it. 

When the edge is at one side of the blade (Fig. 18), 
the inclination of the face of the edge occasions a 
decomposition of forces during penetration ; the 
resistance of the body to be penetrated acts in a 
direction normal to the surface, and likewise in a tan- 
gential one ; the latter force tends to cause a deviation 
in the direction of the centre of that side of the tool on 
which the edge is situated. 

When the edge is in the centre (Fig. 19), the act of 
penetration engenders two equal forces of deviation in 
opposite directions, which destroy each other. The 
point consequently does not deviate from the direction 
of the stroke, and has a greater chance of penetrating 
deeply. 

If the blades be thicker on one side than the other 
(Fig. 20), in order that the edges may not deviate from 
the line of direction of the impulse of the blow, it 
would seem that the point should be in the lines con- 
taining the centres of gravity of horizontal sections of 
the blade. 

From the above it appears that the most favourable 
conditions for penetration of the point are, that its 


MEMOIR OX SWORE S. 


angle should he a minimum, and that the line of 
impulse of the force should bisect that angle* The 
more the line of impulse deviates from this direction 
the less is the facility of penetration ; if it passes out- 
side the poiut, there results a still greater loss of 
force. 

5. The smaller the mark of penetration made by 
the blade, the fewer the obstacles to be overcome, and 
the deeper, consequently, should he the penetration 
with a given impulse. The wound will bo the more 
dangerous, not only by reason of its depth, but 
further because of the internal bleeding which is 
likely to ensue from a wound of small aperture. 
The wound, then, should only be of the same dimen- 
sions, as far as possible, as the part of the blade which 
in diets it, 

Let us imagine (Fig. 21) a horizontal wheel revolving 
round a vertical axis, and that a blade be attached to 
the end of a radius, the flat of the blade being 
horizontal with its back next the axis; when the wheel 
is in motion the point of the sword will describe a 
circle. If the blade have the same curvature as, and 
be placed on the circumference of, this circle, when it 
penetrates an object in consequence of the motion of 
tiie wheel, it will inflict a wound in the shape of an 
arc of a circle, of equal length, width, and depth with 
the blade. The aperture of this wound will be like a 
transverse section of the blade. 

If a straight blade (Fig. 22) bearing upon the end 
of the circular blade be applied thereto so as to form 
the chord of the arc, the wound made by the former 


MEMOIR OX SWORDS. 


consequent upon the motion of the wheel will be of a 
depth increased by the height of the arc. 

If the circular blade (Fig. 23) has reversed in position 
so as to have the original point of the blade still in the 
arc of motion, but the convexity in the opposite 
direction, and forming a curve with that of the original 
position of the blade symmetrical about the line 
joining the two points which are identical in both 
cases, the wound made by the motion of the wheel 
will have a depth equal to double that made by the 
straight blade. 

If the origin of the blade (Fig. 24) remaining in the 
same situation, the point take other positions in the 
horizontal plane of the limb of the wheel, the wound 
would be of a depth equal to the difference of the radii 
proceeding to the point and origin of the blade 
(Fig. 25). The most unfavourable* case would be 
that in which the blade was situate in the line of the 
radius, in which case the depth would be equal to 
the length of the blade. 

In the case where the point describes a circle as 
above, where the blade buries itself completely in the 
object, and when the force is derived rather from an 
exterior impulse than from a velocity, the shape and 
position of the sword most favorable to penetration are 
thus determined; the blade should follow the same 
line of curvature described by the point and the apex 
of the point should be in the line of the middle of the 
blade. 

* Vide the conclusion of the first paragraph of article 5 of this chapter 
for the explanation of the word “ unfavourable,” as used here. 


54 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


If we imagine a sword (Fig. 2G) to fall vertically and 
by the sole action of gravity, so that it has merely the 
impulse due to the velocity, its action will be repre- 
sented by its motive power having a vertical direction 
and passing through the centre of gravity of the blade ; 
to penetrate deeply, the point of the blade should be 
situate in this line and should be divided thereby into 
two equal parts ; the blade should be straight and 
vertical like the line described by the points. If the 
blade bury itself completely, the dimensions of the 
wound will be the same as those of the blade which 
inflicts it (Fig. 27). If the blade were curved, and 
the line of impulse passed through the point, the 
latter would deviate from the straight line in con- 
sequence of the wan£ of symmetry in the two cutting 
edges which effect the penetration, the wound would 
be wide and the point would not reach to so great a 
depth. (Something of this sort occurs in shoeing a 
horse ; the point of the curved nail traces a curvilinear 
path through the hoof, the direction of which was 
originally normal to that of the surface to be pene- 
trated, but which subsequently deviates from this 
direction and finally meets the lateral surface of the 
hoof. (Fig. 28). If the line of impulse do not pass 
through the point, there would ensue a decomposition 
of force, one part of which would tend towards 
causing the blade to turn around its extremity at the 
moment of contact. 

If the blade be pushed in connection with a block of 
wood (Fig. 29) moving in a straight line, like a 
carpenter’s plane, and that it penetrate a body without 


MEMOIR on swords. 


55 


any deviation whatever, in order that it should meet 
with a minimum resistance, the blade should he 
straight and lie in a direction not only parallel to the 
straight line traced hy the centre of gravity of the 
whole arrangement, but further, that its line of 
direction should contain that point. The wound would 
then be of the same dimension as the blade (Fig. 50). If 
the sword were curved, both ends of the blade should 
be situated in the same line of impulse, the breadth of 
the wound would be increased by the altitude of the 
curve of the blade. 

If the blade (Fig. 31) moving in a straight line and 
constantly remaining parallel to its original position, 
have not its two extremities situated on a parallel to 
the line of impulse, the breadth of the wound would be 
equal to the distances between the two parallels to that 
line, drawn from either extremity of the blade (Fig. 
32). This distance would become equal to the length 
of the blade, if the extremities of the latter were 
situated on a perpendicular to the line of impulse. 

Thus, when the impulse is rectilinear, the penetra- 
tion of the blade will, cceteris paribus , be a maximum 
when the sword is straight and placed in the direction 
of the stroke. 

Let us now suppose a block of wood to move hori- 
zontally and in a straight line, like a carpenter's plane ; 
and that this block has an horizontal axis perpendicular 
to the direction of motion ; and finally to this axis is 
attached a sword (Fig. S3) by the pummel in a perpen- 
dicular direction, with its fiat vertical This sword 
would be capable of motion around the axis in the 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


06 

vertical plane lying in the direction of the horizontal 
motion of the block. If the block be stationary, every 
point of the sword will describe a circle when the blade 
turns round the axis. If the blade remain fixed on 
the axis, and that the block move in a straight line, 
every point of the sword will describe a straight line. 
If the block moves rectilineally, and the sword at the 
same time move in a circle round the axis, and if each 
of these motions have the same velocity, each point of 
the sword will trace a cycloid. If the blade, conse- 
quent upon the impulse, penetrate without deviation 
into a soft body, the point will describe a cycloid 
therein ; and that the wound should be as near as pos- 
sible of the same dimensions as the sword, the latter 
should be curved analogously to the cycloid. (A 
wound is like the sheath of a sword ; it cannot resemble 
the form of the blade, unless the latter be straight or 
circular.) 

If the blade were straight, the wound would be the 
wider by about the height of the cycloid. 

If the blades were of a cycloidal form, symmetrical to 
the former with reference to the two ends, the wound 
would be double the width of the preceding. 

The smaller the velocity of rotation in proportion 
to that of rectilineal progression, the flatter would be 
the cycloid, approaching to a straight line. Its con- 
cavity, under all circumstances, will be turned towards 
the line of rectilineal impulse passing through the 
axis ; and if the blades were curved in the inverse 
way, the difficulty of penetration would be nearly 
doubled. 


MEMOIR OX SWORDS* 


57 


As it general principle we deduce the following : — 
The part of the blade which penetrates should have, as 
uear as possible t a form analogous to the line described 
hj the point of the blade * 

6. The preceding considerations will explain the 
reasons of divers forms of tools, arms, and means of 
defence of animals ; thus the metal of the pick -axe and 
mattock, as well as that of the point of the battle -axe, 
is curved, Jbecause penetration takes place consequent 
upon a motion of rotation. The fangs of the carnivora 
act by turning round the point of junction of the jaw- 
bones as on an axis ; their curvature gives them a 
greater power of penetration than if they were straight. 
It is precisely the same with the long, hollow, frail, and 
venomous fangs of the viper. 

The elephant and wild boar, which wound by rushing 
forwards and making a stroke of the head upwards* 
cause their tusks to describe a species of cycloid ; their 
tusks affect very nearly that form. The same may be 
said of claws, the points of which act by a double 
motion. 

The sword- and saw-fishes precipitate themselves 
upon their enemies swimming in a straight line ; their 
weapons of offence are straight, and lie in a direction 
which, if prolonged, would probably pass through the 
centre of gravity of those creatures. 

Among our arms which act by the point, there are 
some in which the latter moves in a straight line, and 
others in which it moves in a curved line. Thus, in 
the cavalry, all the points laid down in the regulations 
are given in a straight line. In the sword-exercise on 


58 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


foot it is not so : in the position of “ Guard ” * the 
point is higher than the wrist ; to give point, the latter 
is lowered smartly, and the wrist is advanced at the 
same instant. This double motion causes the point to 
describe very nearly a cycloid, the curvature of which 
is analogous to, but in the inverse direction to that 
of our blades, approaching to the curve of the 
yataghan (the sword of the foot-soldier in the East. 
It is short, slightly curved : its cutting edge is con- 
cave). This shape (Fig. 34) is so well adapted to the 
object in view, that in France, in duels with the sword, 
those who wish to make use of the point particularly 
hold the curved sword upside down, so that in the 
position of “ Guard ” the edge is upwards ; thus, to 
gain the advantage of a curvature of blades, analogous 
to that described by the point, the combatant sacrifices 
the use of the edge and the defensive effect of the hilt. 
It is further to be observed that in holding the sword 
in any other way, the impulse resulting from the two 
motions is so directed, that the point penetrates as 
though its angle were nearly double. 

If a swordsman place himself at the end of a plas- 
tered wall, so as to be able to see along it lengthwise ; 
that the point of his sword be held resting against 
the plaster ; and that in this position points be given 
agreeably to the principles of the sword-exercise on 
horseback and on foot, leaving each time the curved 
track of the sword point on the wall — we shall find 
that the former points are nearly in a straight line, 
and that the latter are curved to about the same 


Vide note, p. 49. 


MEMOIR OK SWORDS* 


56 


extent as our swords* but in the inverse direction, 
like tlie yataghan* 

There are two ways o£ stabbing with a poignard 
—either holding it like a short sword, or having the 
blade next the little finger* Leaving the marks on 
the plastered wall as above, wo shall find that in the 
first ease the tracks are straight, and that in the 
last they are curved* Poignards should be straight 
in the first case (Figs* 35 and 86), and curved in the 
second (Fig, 37), as is actually the case. Experi- 
ment and theory have doubtless pointed out to nations* 
according to their manner of using them, the most 
suitable shape for poignards. 

In the mechanical arts, in nature, in the arms of 
various nations, that tlie point should have capacity 
for penetration, we find that the penetrative instru- 
ment is either straight or curved in form, according 
as the blow made therewith is in a straight or in a 
curved line ; in the latter case the curvature closely 
approaches the curve described by the point* 

Such is the reason and explanation : 1st* Of the 
straight form of pikes, sounding-leads, common nails, 
punches, &c. ; of the offensive arms, of the sword- and 
i^aw-fislies, of the stings of bees, of ancient swords 
intended to pierce through armour, of arrows, javelins, 
spears, and daggers of the Indians, Japanese, and 
Spaniards, all of which strike like the short-sword ; of 
the bayonet, &c, 2nd* Of the curved form of pick- 
axes, mattocks, horse-shoe nails, ; of the tusks and 
claws of the carnivora ; of the long, fragile, and venom- 
ous teeth of certain serpents ; of the tail of the scov- 


00 


MEMOIR OX SWORDS. 


pion ; of the bill of birds of prey ; of the tusks of the 
wild board and elephant ; of the horn of the rhino- 
ceros ; of the Turkish poignard, which strikes in the 
line of curvature traced by the rotation of the wrist 
round the shoulders ; of the yataghan, the point of which 
acts like the tusks of an elephant, by a motion of 
translation combined with one of rotation. 

Our arms it would appear, then, should follow the 
same rule. In the usual stroke with the point, the 
point of the sword in the cavalry describes a straight 
line, and in the infantry a curved one ; the blades, 
consequently, should be straight for cavalry, and 
curved for infantry, but in the opposite direction to 
the existing curvature. 

It is evident, that if the arms and tools above- 
mentioned as being curved, "were curved in the 
opposite direction, the difficulty of penetration would 
be much increased. This is the case with our 
infantry swords. 

7. The wrist gives motion to the sword, and that it 
should do so without loss of power, it should thrust in 
the direction of the centre of gravity ; or in other 
words, in a line, which starting from the middle of the 
origin of the hilt, passes through the centre of gravity 
of the sword. 

In thrusting, that the motion communicated to the 
sword should react without loss on the x>oint, the stroke 
must be made in the direction of the line joining the 
centre of gravity and the point of the sword. 

That the pressure by the wrist on the point at the 
moment of impact, should have its effect without loss, it 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


01 


should be made, in a line starting from the centre of 
the origin of the hilt and passing through the point. 

That the wrist should communicate the maximum 
of velocity to the sword, that this velocity should be 
transmitted at its best to the points, and that the pres- 
sure of the wrist on the point at the moment of impact 
be as great as possible, it is requisite that these three 
lines of impulses should coincide, that is to say, that the 
centre of gravity should be situate on the line joining 
the centre of the origin of the hilt and the point. This 
is the case exactly in the yataghan, and very nearly so 
in the straight sword. The lines of impulse form 
with each other angles, greater as the curvature of the 
sword increases ; this is the reason why curved swords 
are but little adapted for thrusting. 

In the blade of a straight sword the centre of gravity 
is nearer the back than the edge ; but the hilt being 
situated more towards the edge than the back, the 
centre of gravity of the sword is consequently nearer 
the edge than the back. In order that there should be 
but one line of action of the three forces of impulse on 
the points, the centre of gravity should be placed at 
the edge ; at the back its situation is the least favour- 
able to the decomposition of the forces. 

That the point should best resist the shock sus- 
tained in cutting, it should be at the back of the 
blade. 

Finally, that the blade in the act of penetration 
should have the least possible tendency to deviate 
from the original direction, the point should be situated 
on the line of the centres of gravity of the cross 


02 MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 

sections of tlie blade ; that is to say, it should be in 
the centre, if at the end of the blade, the thickness of 
metal be systematical ; and nearer the back, if the 
latter be more weighted with metal. 

Combining these three considerations, the position 
of the point should be, it would appear, in the line of 
the centre in the straight sword. 

The apex should form an angle of forty degrees, as 
is usually the case, and this angle should be bisected 
by the line of impulse, taking as such a line starting 
from the point and abutting at one third way, across 
the origin of the grip, measuring from the edge side 
thereof; thus, this line will be situated between the 
two directions of impulse which lie very close to each 
other. 

With this sword in a thrust, the point 'will open a 
passage for itself, its edges cutting under an angle of 
twenty degrees on each side of the line of impulse of 
the centre of gravity and of the hilt. 

In the straight sword having the points at the back, 
the line of impulse passes through the angle at the 
apex, but does not bisect it 5 there is consequently less 
force and greater difficulty of penetration. 

In the yataghan there are two directions of stroke 
to be considered (Fig. 34.), and the point may vary in 
position from the middle to the back according to the 
curvature of the blade. The curve thrust is more 
certain in its effect with the point in the centre, and 
in the straight thrust in having it at the back. Gene- 
rally speaking, it is well placed at one third of the 
breadth from the back. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


63 


In our light-cavalry sword (Fig. 45.), the line of 
impulse is exterior to the angle of the point and make 
with the angle of the back, an angle of about ten 
degrees. Its x>oint forms an angle of forty degrees; 
it penetrates consequently, as though that angle 
amounted to fifty degrees. Besides, the velocity of 
the blade transmitted to the point is decomposed “ to 
loss.” The point would penetrate much better if it 
were situated in the medial line of the blade, having 
its angle bisected by the line which goes from the apex 
to one third way across the origin of the blade, mea- 
suring from the edge side. If the cavalry sword is to 
retain its present curvature, it is clearly desirable that 
the point should be thus situated. 

With the Mameluke sabre, used in thrusting, we 
shall observe that the line of impulse which passes 
through the point and grip forms an angle of twenty- 
five degrees with the back of the point ; the back and 
cutting edge of the point make an angle of forty 
degrees; penetration takes place by an edge inclined 
to the line of impulse at an angle of sixty-five degrees. 
The thrust would tend towards making a large wound, 
similar to that made by a cut ; there would be a great 
loss in the communication of the velocity of the wrist 
to the centre of gravity and thence to the point. This 
weapon, moreover, is intended exclusively for cutting. 

Several patterns of straight swords, with the point 
in the centre, have the two flanks which form it in 
straight lines, making an obtuse angle and joining the 
back and edge in a manner which leaves a projecting 
angle ; this is a mistake. The point should be in the 


64 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


centre* its angle about forty degrees, and its sides 
should slope away to the back and edge in cutting 
curves. 

It is to be remarked, tliat practice in thrusting 
makes these different values of swords to be well 
appreciated by the swordsman, as well as the amount 
of actual useful impulse they can receive and the 
proper situation of the points. The difference of 
effect is so sensible, that it is taken cognizance of by 
the private soldiers. Thus in the regiments of heavy 
cavalry in France there are various patterns of swords 
(Fig. 53.); that of the year xiiiis straight, it has three 
grooves on the hats, and the point is at the hack 
(Fig, 58.) ; that of 181 G is straight, the point is in the 
centre and it slopes off well and gradually into the 
back and edge. The point in both cases has the 
same angles, hut that of the latter ought evidently to 
penetrate better than the former; and herein expe- 
riment and theory agree ; if the effects produced in 
the heads and posts exercise in the riding-school he 
examined, we shall find that the troopers armed with 
the first -described swords rarely pierce the heads in 
thrusting, that almost all the men who succeed in so 
doing are armed with swords of the latter pattern, and 
that frequently a sharp trooper, if his own sword be of 
the former pattern, will borrow one of the latter just 
before starting. 

During the time of the Empire, in some corps the 
pattern was altered by forming a sharp point to the 
straight sword of the year xiii, with the idea of in- 
creasing its power of penetration: this would have 


MEMOIR OX SWORDS. 


05 

been more judiciously effected had the point been 
made in the centre.* 

8. Let us now examine, agreeably to what precedes, 
the penetrative faculty of each of the following 
weapons : the yataghan, the straight forward, the pre- 
sent cavalry sword, and the lance. 

First — In the yataghan (Fig. 34) the communication 
of force from the wrist to the centre gravity of the 
weapon, from the grip to the point, and from the 
centre of gravity of the weapon to the point, is very 
well effected. These three lines coincide. The line 
of impulse bisects the point ; the shape of the blade 
is such that the size of its wound is a minimum, and 
it has the least possible tendency to deviate in direc- 
tion in the curved thrust ; hut it is faulty in this 
respect in the straight thrust. It is the best weapon 
existing for the curved thrust. For the straight thrust 
it is inferior to the straight sword, but far superior to 
the curved sword with a curved edge. 

Second — The heavy- cavalry sword (Fig. 58) of the 
pattern of 1816, is straight, with the points in the 
centre. The communication of force is well effected ; 
the angle at the point is bisected by the line of impulse 
in the straight thrust, but the point acts under an 
angle almost double in the curved thrust. The shape 
of the blade is but little adapted for the curved thrust, 
both as to the width and depth of the wound inflicted 
by it, but it is the best pattern in these respects for 
the straight thrust. 

* This Is actually dow the case in the corps of the French army armed 
with this sword. T. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


66 


Third — The sword of the year xiii (Fig. 52) is less 
adapted for thrusting than the preceding, because the 
point is situated at the back of the blade. 

Fourth — The present cavalry sword (Fig. 44) does 
not communicate the force so well ; it penetrates in 
the straight thrust under an angle greater than the 
actual angle of the point ; it inflicts a wider and less 
deep wound, in consequence of its curvature and devia- 
tion. These defects are marked in the curved thrust. 

Fifth — The greater the curvature of swords having 
a curved edge, the less are they calculated for pointing, 
in consequence of the proportionate increase of the 
preceding defects. 

Thus, in all respects, as a weapon to be used in • 
straight thrusting, the straight sword is the best ; but 
for curved thrusting the yataghan is to be preferred 
to the straight sword, which again is preferable to the 
curved sword; for all thrusts, whether straight or 
curved. The straight sword and the yataghan, are 
preferable to the curved patterns, having a curved 
edge; the latter deteriorate in proportion to the 
increase of curvature. 

Sixth — The lance penetrates by velocity, and not by 
pressure ; the whole impulse reacts on the point with- 
out loss. The latter moves in a straight line; the 
weapon is straight, and is altogether constructed 
under the best possible condition for inflicting a 
w r ound of maximum depth. 

9. The general shape of a weapon being judicious — 
granting that the wound made by a thrust should be 
of the same dimensions as the part of the blade which 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


07 


penetrates, and that it should be as deep as possible, 
with the smallest possible opening — it follows that the 
cross-section of the blade, at that part which pene- 
trates, should have a small area, sufficient to give the 
blade the requisite rigidity and strength. It is seldom 
necessary that the point should penetrate deeper than 
one decimetre (four inches).* 

10. The rules relative to the grip and hilt seem to 
me to be identical for both thrusting and cutting. 

11. The straight sword should be light and rigid: 
if it has capacity for cutting, that quality may be of 
service in its use. This weapon having little weight 
towards the point, and being slight generally, cannot 
penetrate with facility and certainty otherwise than by 
the direct impulse of the wrist. For this reason the 
blade should be straight. By giving it a shape ana- 
logous to that of some swords, which have broad and 
fluted backs, we should obtain a light stiff sword, 
capable of cutting. The hilt should be light, except- 
ing at the pummel. I have had swords of this pattern 
made up ; they appear to effect the object of thrusting 
well, and have a slight capacity for cutting. 

12 . Rigidity and lightness are particularly essential 
in the bayonet ; the wide-fluted back is then judicious, 
and by means of this, moreover, a cutting-edge may 

* I was informed by Major J. Crovone, of the Sardinian staff corps, that 
the Piedmontese Lancers, in the campaign against the Austrians in 1848-49, 
found at times great difficulty in withdrawing their lance from the body of 
a wounded enemy. To obviate this, at the bottom of the blade a round 
knob was welded on, which prevented penetration beyond the requisite 
depth. For the same purpose the Arabs have a small bunch of ostrich 
feathers in the like situation. The present regular Turkish Cavalry are 
armed with lances similar to the Sardinian pattern. T. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS, 




be obtained. I have had a bayonet made up with this 
idea ; the back is turned towards the muzzle, and the 
cutting edge outwards. The bow, which joins the 
blade to the socket, is open, giving it advantageous 
rigidity; by grasping the weapon by the Socket and 
putting the index finger through the bow, both point 
and edge may he used. The bayonet may thus become 
an arm capable of being used in the hand, having a 
certain value. The socket remains unaltered. The 
opening in the bow gives that part greater strength, 
which in the present bayonet frequently breaks. 


CHAPTER II, 

RECAPITULATION OP THE PRINCIPLES INVOLVED IN 
ARMS USED FOR THRUSTING* 

First — lightness in the weapon is not so necessary 
in thrusting as in cutting. 

Second — The blade should be stiff, which involves 
thickness of metal; it should be light, so as to be 
suitable for cutting. To reconcile these conditions, 
the back may be thick and fluted. 

Third — The angle of the point should be as acute as 
possible, and the line of impulse should bisect it. 

Fourth — There are two sorts of thrusts, differing 
widely from each other : that in which the point moves 
in a straight line* and that in which it describes a curve* 

Fifth — The general form of the blade should be 
analogous to that of the line described in the thrust. 

Sixth — Cavalry swords should he straight, and 


MEM0JE ON SWQBDS* 


09 

infantry swords should be somewhat curved, with 
tlie cutting edge at the concavity of the blade. 

Seventh — The point of the sword should be on the 
medial line of the width of the blade ; its angle should 
be bisected by the line running from the apex to one- 
third of the width of the blade near the grip, measuring 
from the edge* 

In the yataghan the point, generally speaking, 
should be at one-third of the width from the back* 

In our present cavalry sword, the point should be 
on the medial line of the width of the blade* Tlie line 
of impulse will bisect tlie angle at the apex, as is the 
case in the straight sword. 

In all cases the point should slope away to the back 
and edge by curved lines* 

Eighth — As a weapon to be used in thrusting, the 
straight sword is the best in every respect for tlie 
straight thrust ; the yataghan for the curved thrust ; 
both are superior in either ease to the curved-pattern 
swords with curved edge ; the latter are the less 
adapted for both purposes, in proportion to the amount 
of curvation* 

Ninth — The last decimetre (four inches) of the blade 
near the point should, as much as possible, be pecu- 
liarly calculated for thrusting, and to this end, should 
have its cross section of as small an arm as possible. 

Tenth — The grip and hilt are identical in using 
both point and edge* 

Eleventh — The straight sword should have a straight, 
rigid, slight blade, having as much power of cutting as 
possible* These conditions may be fulfilled, by adopt- 


70 


MEMOIE OK SWOEDS, 


ing a shape analogous to that of the sword with thick 
fluted hack, and a light hilt weighted at the pummel* 
Twelfth — This same form may he given to the 
bayonet, which can be made a weapon to he used in 
the hand, aving a certain value, and this without 
altering the socket* 


}IEM0IE ON SWORDS. 


71 


PART III. 

ON ARMS USED BOTH FOR CUTTING AND THRUSTING. 

CHAPTER I. 

DISCUSSION OF THE PRINCIPLES INVOLVED IN ARMS 
USED FOR BOTH CUTTING AND THRUSTING. 

It is difficult for a weapon to unite both qualities in 
the highest degree. Thus we see in the East horsemen 
cut with the Mameluke sabre , which is for the purpose 
the most perfect pattern, and only point with the lance 
or straight sword.* It is necessary that we should he 
able with the same sword, first to thrust well, and then 
to cut tolerably. Let us examine what this leads to in 
different arms : 

1. For cavalry the blade should be straight. The 
effective use of the cutting edge necessitates weight at 
the last four decimetres (sixteen inches) of the blade, 
while that of the point requires a small volume at the 
last decimetre (four inches). To reconcile these two 
objects, the end of the blade might be made as though 
for pointing only, and then slope away up to the part 

* The East, for & Frenchman, means European and Asiatic Turkey, If 
so, the author is not quite correct in ills statement, as the greater part of 
the Turkish Basin- bazouks and other irregular Lemmon are armed with 
the yataghan. The exceptions being the leaders and rich men, who could 
afford to buy a scimetar. T. 


72 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS, 


of rest of the blade intended for cutting ; this may be 
effected in two ways : 

First — The hollow back of the blade may taper to 
this point, stopping short within a half-decimetre (two 
inches) of the latter, and being there replaced by a 
cutting-edge running up to the point. 

Second — The fluted hack of the blade may stop 
short at a decimetre and a-lialf (six inches) from the 
point, whence the end of the blade would form a double 
cutting-edge, as is usually the case, but with this dif- 
ference, that the metal should be thicker, its maximum 
thickness being in the centre of the width without 
forming a ridge, and that the swell should abut at the 
point* 

The remainder of the blade would be, in either case, 
like that described for cutting, as light as possible 
about tire origin of the blade and at the hilt, with a 
rather heavy pummel. Swords of this pattern would 
thrust and cut better than those of the present pattern, 

I have had swords made up of both fashions* I 
used them for nine years in Africa and found them ef- 
ficient ; but the second method of shaping the end of 
the blade was the best* 

In the German broad -sword exercise they have a 
system of cutting which is sometimes used ; it is of 
great power and unknown in France, This is done by 
striking with the back of the blade by a peculiar 
motion of the wrist, which adds much to the rapidity 
of the stroke. It is more especially applicable to 
cutting to the left-hand* It ivould be well to adopt 
this cut, as the weak side of the trooper is liis left rear; 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS* 


7*1 

it is here that the pursuer should attack the pursued. 
This object seems sure to settle the question in favour 
of giving the preference to the sword having a cutting 
edge of a decimetre and a-half (six inches) in length at 
the back near the point, rather than to that of which 
the fluted back reaches close up to the point, 

2* Cavalry swords shaped like a yataghan have one 
peculiar advantage ; it is this, that by means of a slight 
movement of rotation of the hand, the cut may be- 
come a thrust moving with the velocity usual in the 
act of cutting, and the stroke would he consequently 
very dangerous, I have had three specimens made ; 
1st, with a fluted back : 2nd, like our present sword 
reversed ; and 3rd, with a ridge in the centre and two 
cutting- edges. I have tried them : they answer for 
combat on foot better than the straight sword and a 
fortiori than the curved. On horseback the straight 
sword is to be preferred, but the yataghan- shaped 
sword is much better than the present sword* 

3* For tine infantry officer's sword, the yataghan- 
shaped blade should have the same thickness as those 
of the present sword, but he curved in the opposite 
direction; the point should be at one -third of the 
width from the back, and be bisected by the line of 
impulse. 

The back may be fluted to give the blade rigidity, 
and the remainder of the blade be analogous to what 
has been described for the cavalry sword* 

The blade being short and less likely to bend than 
that of the cavalry, rigidity might likewise he obtained 
by giving a ridge to each flat of the blade, near the 


74 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


back, thus forming an obtuse edge. To the faculty of 
pointing well, and of cutting well and powerfully with 
a broad surface, this blade would have that of striking 
with the blunt edge of the back, so as to inflict a slight 
wound, an advantage which might be of service under 
many circumstances out of the domain of actual war- 
fare. This gradation of effect would render it pre- 
ferable, for instance, as the armament of policemen to 
the straight sword, which can only wound by a thrust, 
that is to say, very dangerously. 

I have had swords made up of these three patterns ; 
the second of the three seems to me to be preferable. 

I will add, that if two men on foot cross swords, the 
one with a sword of the present infantry pattern, the 
other with one of the yataghan shape, each of the two 
adversaries will feel the superiority of the latter weapon : 
it will be quite sufficient to see them to account for 
this. 

4. The private’s sword in the infantry, termed 
“ Briquet,”* may be modified as follows : it should be 
made yataghan shape, the blade should be very wide 
at the cutting jmrt and have a point well calculated for 
penetration, while the remainder of it should be 
lightened by diminishing the width ; the back should 
be ground to an edge for cutting wood. The greatest 
thickness of metal should be at two-thirds of the width 
of the blade from the edge, the point should be on the 
line of ridge of the swell ; a brass grip should close 
the mouth of the scabbard ; it should be narrow in the 


Vide note, page 88, 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS- 75 

direction of the width of the blade- The bearing of 
the little finger should he wide and smooth. This 
sword would cut and thrust well ; as a weapon its point 
and concave cutting edges would both be serviceable, 
while as a tool its convex edges would be found useful* 
I have; had swords of this pattern made, and have tried 
them, and they appear to realise the advantages pre- 
sumed by theory. 

The present sabre-poignard would seem to be 
susceptible of improvement by being modified to the 
yataghan shape. One of the cutting edges would have 
the advantages possessed by the curved hatchet, the 
other those of a bill-hook. The point too would act 
better : it should be situated at one- third of the width 
from the convex edge. I have tried swords of this 
pattern ; they seem to be handy. 

G, Boarding cutlasses in the navy are not usually 
worn on the person ; they are only used in actual com- 
bat, and immediately afterwards they are returned to 
the arm-rack. They do not require to be made of a 
portable form, like cavalry and infantry swords. They 
should be well adapted for thrusting in combat on foot, 
this would involve the yataghan shape, and in addition 
to this, they should cut as well as possible. The edge 
might be serrated at angles of forty-five, giving the 
weapon the flame -shape, while the medial lines form 
the yataghan curve. The undulations should com- 
mence at a distance of one decimetre (four inches) from 
the point and extend down the blade for three deci- 
metres (twelve inches) ; the back should likewise be 
ground to a cutting edge; the greatest thickness of 


76 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


metal at every part of the blade should be at two- 
thirds of the width from the concave edge, the point 
should hold the same position. The sw r ord would thus 
retain its power of cutting, while its capacity for 
thrusting w T ould be much increased. 

7. Mounted men of all arms should be able both to 
cut and thrust. With men of all sizes, the method of 
using the sword is the same : it would seem, then, that 
their swords should all be of the same shape, but 
varying in dimensions according to the size of the 
soldier: thus there might be three sizes of swords, 
identical in shape, for mounted corps. 

It is to be remarked that at the present moment 
there are four sizes in the service : the horse-artillery 
sword, the old “ bancal,” and the tw r o new patterns. 
They are distributed of the different patterns by corps; 
so that w r e can imagine a certain light- dragoon, who 
happens to be bigger than the ordinary men of cuiras- 
siers, being armed with a smaller sword than his mailed 
comrade ; while a trumpeter or enfant cle troupe of 
cuirassiers, who has the cut of an hussar, wears the 
largest sword in the service. It v T ould seem advisable 
that in each corps, there should be swords of two sizes 
identical in shape, so that in every arm of the service 
the men should have weapons suitable to their size and 
strength. 

8. To be able to make use of both point and edge, 
it seems to be indispensably requisite that the soldier 
should practise pointing, and more particularly cutting 
in reality . “ Going through the motions’’ is not sufficient. 
It w f ould seem a matter of no great difficulty for each 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


77 


regiment to have a few swords kept specially for this 
purpose. By applying theoretic principles in cutting 
through bundles of straw, branches of trees, &e., the 
soldier would acquire that which practice alone can 
give in the use of the sword. He would use his weapon 
to better advantage and would have more confidence 
in it. 


CHAPTER IX, 

RECAPITULATION OF THE PRINCIPLES INVOLVED IN 
ARMS USED FOR BOTH CUTTING AND THRUSTING. 

First — For cavalry, the sword should be straight, 
rigid, light, and well balanced ; iiave power of cutting, 
and long sharp edge ; the point placed in medial line 
of the blade and bisected by the line running from 
thence to one -third of the width of the grip at its 
origin measured from the edge ; the sides of the angle 
of the point should slope away in curved lines into 
the back and edge. The part of the blade near the 
point should be thickest in the centre and be without 
ridges ; the last decimetre (four inches) should he 
shaped specially for pointing. The hilt and grip 
should be as described above. 

Yataghan -shaped swords are less adapted for 
cavalry than the above, but more so than those of the 
present pattern. 

Second — The infantry “briquet” should be made 
yataglian-shaped, wide at the cutting part, narrowing 
towards the point and origin; the back of the blade 


78 


MEMOIR ON S WORDS, 


should have a cutting edge* and the point he situated 
at one- third distance from the haelc, the angle at the 
apex being bisected by the line of impulse. 

Third — The sabre-poignard might advantageously 
he curved like the yataghan. 

Fourth — Boarding cutlasses might, in addition to 
the yataghan curve for thrusting, have a flame -shaped 
portion of edge commencing at one decimetre (four 
inches) from the points, with the view of increasing its 
power of cutting* 

Fifth — There should be three sizes of cavalry swords 
identical in shape, two of which should he found in 
each regiment. 

Sixth — It would he advantageous that cavalry should 
practise thrusting and cutting in reality. They should 
practise too, the back stroke with the edge, to strike 
on the left side* 


PART IV, 


EXAMINATION OF THE PRINCIPAL ARMS IN EXISTENCE 
USED FOR CUTTING AND THRUSTING; AND RECA- 
PITULATION, 


CHAPTER I. 

EXAMINATION OF THE PRINCIPAL ARMS IN EXISTENCE 
USED FOR CUTTING AND THRUSTING AMONG 
VARIOUS NATIONS, 

First — Oar present cavalry sword cuts and thrusts 
only moderately well, (Figs. 44, 45,) because it has 
little percussive force and little rigidity ; and because 
its point, grip, and liilt, are injudiciously shaped. 

Second — The “ baneal ” cuts better and thrusts 
worse than the preceding (Fig, 5 1) ; it is susceptible of 
improvement for both the one and the other ; it should 
have greater percussive force without altering its 
weight or centre of gravity ; the point should be situ- 
ated on the medial line of the blade and be bisected 
by the line of impulse instead of being beyond it ; 
finally, the grip and hilt should be corrected, both being 
defective. 

Third — The heavy cavalry sword of the pattern of 
181 G (Fig, 53), is ill- made at the hilt and grip, and it 
is faulty in not being sufficiently rigid, in that it hardly 
cuts at all, and, finally, in that the point, although 


80 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


situate in the medial line, is not possessed of all the 
faculty of penetration of which it is susceptible, owing 
to the ridges which slope off into it, rendering both 
the cutting edges very obtuse. 

Fourth — The straight sword of the year xiii has a 
portion of the above defects (Fig* 53); moreover, the 
point loses touch of its power of action, because it is at 
the hack of the blade, and slopes to the edge in very 
nearly a straight line ; so that in thrusting, this sword 
strikes rather with a short cutting edge than with a 
point. 

Fifth — The infantry “briquet” might (Fig. 47) 
with the same weight, cut and thrust much better, 
because the grip, the shape of the flat of the blade, 
the cur cation and position of the point, are all faulty* 
It is tolerably well adapted for cutting, but very ill for 
thrusting. 

Sixth — The infantry officer's sword has little percus- 
sive force, and cuts and points only moderately well ; 
its curvature, the position of the point grip, and hilt, 
are all very faulty. 

Seventh- — The Mameluke sabre (Fig. 1) is perfect 
for cutting. The British sword (Fig. £), likewise, 
cuts very well ; these weapons are constructed on 
different principles, but their application in each is 
good : their defect is, that they are not adapted for 
thrusting, The latter might be improved. 

Eighth- — The Turkish yataghan is an excellent 
weapon for infantry; it thrusts and cuts well (Fig. 34). 
The grip has no hilt, and consequently has no guard ; 
it likewise leaves the mouth of the sheath open, the 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


81 


blade being wider near the point than at the origin ; 
there is an empty space at the mouth of the sheath 
when the blade is home; tliis is closed either with a 
metallic cover attached by a chain, or with wax, the 
sheaths being luted on to the grip, both methods being 
unsatisfactory. 

Ninth — The Kabyles manufacture in the Flessa 
range of mountains iron yataghans of an extravagant 
shape, rendering them much sought after by collectors 
of arms ; they are very broad and tolerably thick at 
the cutting part ; thus they are narrow up to the 
grip ; this gives great percussive force, and the shape 
so far is rational ; but they have further a very long, 
very thin, and very narrow point which bends without 
elasticity, injures the power of cutting, and is but 
little adapted for thrusting. If the points were 
shortened, this heavy and ill-balanced weapon would 
be well constructed as an iron yataghan ; the defects 
of the material, as regards finenes of edge and 
rigidity of blade, would be compensated for by volume ; 
it would stand half way between the steel yataghan and 
the mace. 

Tenth — The blade should be in the direction of the 
fore-arm in the act of thrusting. To effect this, among 
certain nations, the Malays for instance, the grip is 
inclined to the blade at an angle of forty-five degrees ; 
among others, the Indians to wit, the grip is at right 
angles to the blade in their straight swords and 
poignards. Our system seems better adapted for 
defence, and for the use both of point and edge. 

Eleventh — Some hilts have grooves to fit the fingers ; 


82 


MEMOIK ON SWOBDS. 


this impedes the motion in the hand : moreover this 
peculiarity is not met ivitli in the arms of nations 
famed for using them skilfully. 

Twelfth — Tlie pummel of certain Indian swords is 
prolonged to a length of about fifteen centimetres, 
(siK inches) into an inclined metal shank protecting 
the lower part of the arm and acting as a counterpoise. 
This arrangement causes a loss of velocity in cutting, 
by impeding the motion of the grip in the hand ; it 
would be well adapted for a sword intended to be used 
in a duel on foot. I do not think it applicable to our 
weapons meant for warfare. 

Thirteenth — In certain Asiatic swords, the grip is 
of wood ; it is three decimetres (twelve inches) in 
length, and has no bearing for the little fingers, the 
reason of which may be that it is used double -handed, 
although the blade is curved ; or if used in the ordinary 
manner, that it should act as a counterpoise and a 
defence for the lower side of the arm. This peculi- 
arity, though it lias certain absolute advantages, does 
not seem applicable to our arms, as it impedes the acts 
of thrusting and cutting, besides being inconvenient in 
carrying the weapon in a scabbard. 

Fourteenth — The Roman swords were intended to 
pierce armour with point and edge ; the stuff not 
having the hardness of steel, did not take a fine edge ; 
in the later patterns they were straight, short, two- 
edged, and heavy near the point to give percussive 
force. 

Fifteenth — T he double-handed swords of the knights 
of old were very long, broad, and tolerably thick ; they 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


8 3 

liad great percussive force, owing to their velocity and 
volume, this being necessary to act with effect on 
armour. With the same weight it would have been 
quite possible to obtain a greater amount of effect by 
the application of the principles above enunciated. 

Sixteenth — Some two-handed swords were flame- 
shaped. This arrangement, which enfeebles the 
strength of the cutting-edge, seems more adapted for 
cutting into bodies not protected by iron. I think it 
is little applicable in the present day, because, among 
other reasons, it involves a great width of scabbard. 
It is only adapted for boarding-cutlasses. 

Seventeenth — The serrated edge sword, in certain 
straight blades, likewise has angles advantageous for 
penetration ; but as these points are weaker than a 
continuous line, this arrangement is only found in very 
thick weapons, such as the broad thick blades of cer- 
tain halberds. m 

Eighteenth — In India there is a species of weapon 
resembling a bill-hook. It is semi-circular, three 
decimetres (twelve inches) in diameter, and is botli 
thick and broad in the blade ; its handle is of metal, 
four decimetres (sixteen inches) in length, and situated 
in the line of the prolongation of the diameter which 
connects the two extremities of the blade. Its blow 
should be very powerful in consequence of the double 
inclination of the edge. Some of these weapons have 
a badly placed point at the part opposite the handle. 
This arm appears to be susceptible of a great capacit} r 
for cutting, if it were improved upon. 

Nineteenth — Some savage nations who have no iron, 


84 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


have a pointed weapon which strikes by a motion of 
rotation like our swords; it is a short club made of 
hard wood, having a tolerably sharp point placed per- 
pendicularly to the length of the weapon near the 
centre of gravity, and projecting about fifteen centi- 
metres (six inches). This arrangement causes the 
momentum of the club to act by a point instead of by a 
surface. The effect ought consequently to be greater 
as to depth. 

Twentieth — On the breach at Constantine were 
found wooden clubs, the heads of which were garnished 
with iron spikes, a decimetre (four inches) in length. 
This weapon, like that which precedes, causes the club 
to act by a point instead of by a surface. The effect 
of the blow is very great, and it is difficult to parry ; 
but it requires a great rotatory motion, and conse- 
quently leaves exposed the body of him who wields it ; 
whereas in our system of using the point wdtli our 
swords, the weapon itself is in a more defensive posi- 
tion, it admits of striking oftener in consequence of its 
lightness, and inflicts deeper wounds. 

Twenty-first — Some battle-axes were shaped like a 
w'eathercock. The blade was flat and thin ; it had two 
points intended to strike the object, distant from each 
other about two decimetres (eight inches), and had, 
further, four inclined cutting edges, so that the entire 
cutting edge w r as like the letter M. The intention of 
this weapon w T as to penetrate by the points and cut by 
the inclined lines of the M. 

Twenty-second — In Asiatic countries there are, like- 
wise, certain weapons like a Mameluke sabre recorded; 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS* 


Bo 


the cutting-edge is at the concave side, and the curva- 
ture of the blade is a complete half circle* The 
cutting-edge may act in two ways : — 1st* By striking 
in the usual manner ; this causes the blade to slide 
on the object from the point to the centre, 2nd* By 
drawing the weapon, as in using a sickle* It would 
appear that by using it in this manner astonishing 
effects are produced, 3rd* The motion of the blade in 
cutting may make a deep wound by striking with the 
point perpendicularly ; or a less deep one, hut having 
greater length, by striking obliquely. The weapon, 
in the latter case, acts like the wild boar’s tusk. This 
sword is powerful as a weapon of offence, but it is 
feeble in a defensive point of view, in consequence of 
its shape ; it is doubtless for this reason that its use 
is very restricted. 

Twenty-third— Poignards, intended to be held with 
the blade next the thumb and to thrust like a short 
sword, are straight; some are narrow and straight, 
without cutting- edges ; others act with a broad stiff 
blade* The grip is either in the direction of the blade, 
at an angle of forty -five degrees to it, or at right angles 
to it. Those intended to be held with the blade next 
the little finger are curved, and are more particularly 
intended for pointing; the grip is wider, as there is no 
motion inside the hand* In some of the latter species 
there is a channel ending near the points, which is 
filled with poison, like the fang of a viper* The poison 
is projected into the bottom of the wound by a peculiar 
mechanism* 

There are, further, flame-shaped poi guards. This 


80 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


shape, the tendency of which is to widen the wound, is 
evidently faulty as a weapon specially intended for 
thrusting. 

Twenty fov/rtfa — The ancient Gauls made good use 
of an axe termed f£ Franeisque ; 5 * its blade was round, 
very sharp and wide, and it was thrown with great 
accuracy : its stroke must have been very powerful. 

Twenty -fifth — In Asia there is a weapon of an 
analogous nature, and which, in well-skilled hands, is 
said to be very effective. It is a metallic quoit of 
about four decimetres (sixteen inches) in diameter, 
very sharp at the circumference, tolerably thin in 
metal, and having an empty space in the centre. It is 
thrown by giving it a sharp motion of rotation. It 
would seem that in consequence of the combination of 
weight, rectilineal velocity of the projectile, and circular 
velocity of the edge, its stroke is endowed with a great 
faculty of penetration. 


CHAPTER IL 

GENERAL RECAPITULATION OF THE PROPOSALS. 

1* The Hilt of the Sivord . — The hilt would be 
better made of steel than of brass ; the pummel should 
be somewhat weighted, the bearing of the little finger 
be wide and smooth ; nothing should be permitted to 
impede the motion of the little finger. The main 
branch should be stout, and as much out of the medial 
line as possible. 

The Grip,— The grip should be smooth, narrow 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


87 


in the direction of the width of the blade, especially at 
the points grasped by the index and fore-fingers. 

3. Distribution of Weight . — The sword should be 
light, well balanced, and have percussive power. For 
this purpose the blade should be stout at the last 
four decimetres (sixteen inches) near the point ; the 
pummel should be proportionately loaded ; the rest of 
the blade should be as light as possible. 

4. The Edge . — The edge should be formed by a 
long-sided sharp angle at the last four decimetres 
(sixteen inches). The stuff of which the blade is made 
ought to be such as to take a fine edge, and yet one that 
will resist a blow. 

5. Rigidity. — For thrusting, the blade must be rigid. 
The shape which most rationally gives rigidity is that 
of a thick fluted back. 

C. Curvature . — The general run of a blade intended 
to point should closely approach that of the line 
described by the point in the thrust; consequently, 
cavalry swords should be straight, and infantry swords 
should have a curve analogous to the present one 
reversed, the cutting-edge being at the concavity of the 
blade. 

7. The point should form an angle of forty degrees 
at a maximum. This angle should be bisected by the 
line of impulse running from the apex to one'third of 
the breadth at the origin of the grip, measuring from 
the edge side. The point, in general, should be in the 
centre of the width of the blade in the straight sword, 
and at one-third of the width from the back in the 
yataghan-shaped sword. 


88 


MEMOIR OX SWORDS. 


In our present pattern swords, the point would be 
better placed in the centre than at the back, and being 
bisected by the line of impulse, instead of lying without 
that line, as is at present the case. It would appear 
to be advisable to alter our swords in this respect. 

The sides of the point should slope away to the 
hack and edge by curved lines. The last decimetre 
{four inches) of the blade ought to he formed solely for 
pointing. The blade at this part should have the 
smallest possible area of cross-section ; there should he 
no ridge at the greatest thickness, which should he on 
a line running into the point. 

8. The end of the Made , — The fluted hack should 
stop short at fifteen centimetres from this point (six 
inches); then the blade, as is at present the case, 
should he smooth, and thicker than it is in the present 
pattern. It should have a swell in the centre without 
a ridge, the line of greatest thickness running into the 
point, with a cutting edge on each side. 

9. The Infantry 4 4 Briquet" — The infantry 4 £ briquet 1 1 
should be two-edged, and be shaped like a yataghan ; 
it should be further wide at the cutting part and 
lightened along the rest of the blade. The grip should 
be formed agreeably to the principles above enunciated. 

10. The Infantry Officers Sword. — The infantry 
officer’s sword should he yataghan -shaped; the back 
might be fluted up to within fifteen centimetres (six 
inches) from the point,* the rest of the blade agreeably 
to the principles enunciated. 

* In the original it is “from the edge/* but this is clearly & misprint. 

T. 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


80 


11 . The Sword-poignard, — The sword-poignard 
might be advantageously curved like the yataghan. 

1£. The Boarding Cutlass, — -The boarding cutlass 
might have the yataghan shape, as advantageous in 
thrusting, be two-edged, and form one decimetre (four 
inches) from the point, be flame-shaped to increase its 
capacit} 1 * for cutting, 

13. The Scabbard,— Take scabbard should have a 
piece of wood adapted to it, to preserve the fine edge 
from contact with the metal on the line of march, and 
especially in drawing or returning swords. 

14. The 'Sword-knot. — The sword-knot should be 
supple, light, and be of silk or goats- liair, and have no 
large and heavy acorn at the end. It should be at- 
tached to the second branch of the hilt so as not to 
impede the little finger. The short- sword and the 
swords of infantry officers should be provided there- 
with* 

15. The great billet of the sword-belt, and its ring 
and clasp on the scabbard, should be abolished. 

16. The Short Sword. — The short sword might be 
fluted at the back up to twenty-seven millimetres (one 
inch) from the point, and have a cutting edge; the 
blade should be straight, and the hilt light, excepting 
at the pummel 

17. The Bayonet, — The ba} r onet might have a 
straight blade with fluted back, having a cutting edge 
on the side opposite the muzzle. The socket as at 
present ; but the bow, being open, would be rigid and 
admit of the weapon being held in the hand both to cut 
and thrust. 


m 


MEMOIR ON SWORDS. 


18. Sizes of Swords — There might he three sizes of 
cavalry swords identical in shape. 

19. .Drills.— The thumb should not be on the back of 
the grip in cutting. Some motions above alluded to 
in cutting should be modified, and others might be 
introduced. The men would have greater skill in 
using the sword if they were drilled at cutting and 
thrusting in reality. 


THE END. 


BBAKBUBT AXD EYAB&, FRITTERS, WU 1 TSSFRIA BS. 


MACHINERY* 

57* 

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PRACTICAL ESSAYS ON MILL-WORK AND OTHER 
MACHINERY; 

WITH EXAMPLES OF TOOLS OF MODERN INVENTION. 
First published by Egbert Buchan ax, M.E. ; afterwards improved and 
edited by Thomas Tredgold, C.E , ; and now re-cdltcd, with the improve- 
ments of the present age, 

Dy GEOEGE RENNIE, F.R.S., GE., &c., &c. t &e* 


USEFUL TO EXPERIMENTERS AND LECTURERS: 

A SYSTEM OF APPARATUS 

FOB tCJt 


USE OF LECTURERS AND EXPERIMENTERS 

IN 

MECHANICAL PHILOSOPHY. 

GY THE REV. ROBERT WELLIS, F.R.S., 

Jacksonian Professor qf Natural and Experimental Philosophy In the 
University of Cambridge. 

\* For Contents of Work sec other side* 


WITH THREE PLATES, CONTAINING FIFTY-ONE FIGURES* 


Pum Sa 


CONTENTS 


ARTICLE 

1. Introductory Remarts. 

CHAR I,— WHEELS AND STUB* 
SOCKETS. 

2. System consists of certain 

definite parts. 

8. Toothed- wheels and other re* 
valving pieces. 

4, Key *gro eves, 

5. Stud-sockets and Collars (figs. 

8, 10, 12). 

Note ,— Double Socket (fig. 

»). 

6. Stud -sockets of peculiar form 

(fig. 13). 

7, Stud-sockets of peculiar form 

(fig. 11). 


CHAR II. — FR AM E -WO UK FUDGES, 

S. Frame-work. 

0. Advantages of Stud& 

10. Brackets (figs. 1 to 6). 

U. Coach-bolts. 

t iVbte.— Clamps (fig. 7). 

12. Slit Tables (fig. 10). 

IB. Sole-blocks (fig. 17). 

14. Beds (fig. 20). 

Ip. Rectangles (fig. 10). 

16. Examples of Frames. Base- 

board (fig. IS). 

17. Stools (figs. 23 to 26). 

18. Posts. 

19. Loops [fig. 22). 

20. Positions of the Studs and 

Brackets. 

21* Guide-pulleys. 

22. Tripod-stretcher, 

chap, nr .— shafts and tube- 
fittings. 

£3, Mounting of Shafts. 

24. Shafts in carriages (figs. 35, 

36, 37). 

25. Shafts in Tube-fittings (figs. 

29, 30), 

26. Shaft- rings. 


article 

27. Shafts between centre-screws. 

28. Adapters (fig. 33). 

29. Pinned Shaft-rings (fig. 30). 

30. Flan ch (fig, 32), 

31. Lever Arm or Handle (fig, 34.) 

32. Sets of pieces in definite sizes. 

Note on Bolts, 

33. Short Shafts in single bearings, 

34. Example— Link-work (fig, 40), 

35. Other Mountings of short Shafts 

(Eg. 21). 

36. Many independent pieces oa 

a common axis. 

37- Example - — Ferguson's Para- 
dox (fig, 41), 

38, Remarks, 

39. Recapitulations. 

Note on Professor Parish's 
method. 


CHAP. IV.— APPLICATIONS OF 
THE SYSTEH. 

40. System applied to four pur- 

poses (as follows) : 

41. 1st, Elementary Combinations 

Example*— 

42. Roomer's Wheels (fig, 42), 

43. 2nd, Models of Machine, 

Examples — - 

44. Repeating Clock (figs. 43, 44). 

45. Parallel Motion Curves (fig, 

45). 

46. Equatorial Clock (figs. 47 to 50). 

47. Friction Machine (fig, 46). 

48. Models in which the general 

principles of the system are 
ap plicable, 

49. Looms. 

50. Rope-making Machinery, 

51. Organ. 

52. 3rd, Fitting up of Apparatus 

for Mechanical Philosophy 

{figs. SI, 27, 28 ). 

53. Use of Paste-board, 

54. Shears (fig. 51). 

55. 4 th, Trial of original CO^M 

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By WILLIAM YGUATT, Esq., V.S., 

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ON IRON SHIP-BUILDING. 

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By JOHN GRANTHAM, C.E., 

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A work on the construction and build of Ships, by the application of Iron* has 
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DESCRIPTION or 1 PLATES, 


1 Hollow and tar keels, stem and stern posts. 

3 Side frames, floor jags, find bilge pieces. 

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6 Rivets., shown in section, imtitral and 

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5 Iron meats, with longitudinal and transverse 
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3 Sliding keel* wntnr.hallast, moulding the frames 
In iron ship .building, levelling-plates. 

Id Lon gitudi rail (section, and i^lf-brtadi h deck 
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13 IllListr-rtmuuof the magnetic condition of Various 
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20 Gray's floating erunpaag and binnacle* with ad- 

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21 Corroded iron bolt In frame of wooden ship} 

caulking joints cfplntes- 

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34 Gr-Btff Jinaif erg,— Section ill engine room, and 
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8 


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NORMANDY'S CHEMICAL ATLAS AND DICTIONARIES. 

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Substances. 


By A. NORMANDY, 

Author of “ The Commercial Handbook of Chemical Analysis,” &c., See., and Editor 
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" Table* sneb ns these, like Maps and Charts, are 
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*• The svork Rive* evidence of the author being 
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chemical student ntid analyst ." — Mining Journal. 

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The < hernia. 

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that the student may with the aid of the Diction- 
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the mod heterogeneous mixture, w bother composed 
of orgnnic or inorganic substances, or of both 
combined.”— Henry M. A bad, I'.R S., Lecturer on 
ChemUtry at St. George's Hospital. 


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excellent guide in all questions of Agricultural accompanied by illustrative figures of the necessary 
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SPOONER ON SHEEP. 

Second Edition. 12 mo., bs. cloth. 

THE HISTORY, STRUCTURE, ECONOMY, 
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In Three Tarts. Illustrated with fine Engravings from Drawings by W. IIabvky, Esq. 


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9 


NQAD'S ELECTRICITY, 

Fourth Edition., entirely re-writim, in One Volume, illustrated by 500 woodcut*, Svp, IE. 4 j. 

cloth, 

A MANUAL OF ELECTRICITY. 

Including Galvanism, Magnetism, Bia-maguetisin, Electro-Dynamics, Magno- 
Elcctiicity, and the Electric Telegraph, 


By HENRY M. KOAD, Pu.D., F.C,S., 

Lecturer on Clicmistr}* at St, George’s Hospital, 

Or in Two Parte : 

Part I., ELKernicrxY and Galyaxisjj, Svo, cloth. 

Part II, Magnetism and theELEernic TtLEOUArn, Svo, 10s, fid. cloth. 


"Thin nuhlkut iaa. fully bcun cut its title of 
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electricity, friction*! mid voltaic. ihc-nmv electri- 
city, unit clectro-phy liolopy , To dtlfuit correct 
views of clrrtrlral science, to ionise known ihu 
iitw* by which ibh mysterious force ia regulated, 
which is tin; intention of the author, is ati impor* 
taut i ask- 13 — Afhtnmim. 

11 Dr. Noad'fl- Manual, 5a some! deport men's- of 
which lie has had 1 1n.: cOUtiad nnd assist mice of Mr. 
Fandsy, Sir William Snow Ilnrrl*, ProfestLor Tyn- 
dal), and otkere, giving an additional sanction oiul 
Eli tergal to Ills work, la more than ever worthy of 
being TCCui ved w it li fuvOLir by studenta mill men of 
si mice. The style in which it is written is very 
CXnct and ■clear.”— I iterciry Gatette. 

“ l>r. Noah's 4 Manual u S' I5lc*c t rlrity ’ has for seve- 
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every department of electrical science." — AtG*. 

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work of such absorbing interest to the whole 


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words in which the writers hate dr tailed their ex. 
|Ml L ri]iLEUt& ami opiniuns."^.lfccAattiM F Maytwwt. _ 

" Amo nk' the numerous writer* an the mi tractive 
am) tmciDitiur subject of electricity, ihc author of 
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o'. unity,”— Miainy JourAtiL 

"The commendations already bestowed in elm 
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accounts yivcti of electricity and gnlvmii-m arc not 
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TEEDGOLB ON THE STRENGTH OF IRON, &c. 

Fourth Edition, in T&O Vols,, Sw, ll bvetre?# (either Volume may he had separately), 

A PRACTICAL ESSAY ON THE STRENGTH 
OF CAST IRON AND OTHER METALS; 

Intended for the assistance of Engineer Ironmasters, Millwrights, Architects, 
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experiments j with an extensive table of the properties of materials. 

By THOMAS THE D GOLD, Mem. Inst aii, 3 
Asvthor of ** Elementary Principles of Carpentry,” “ History of the Steam Engine,” 
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improved and enlarged. By Eaton Hodgkinsqh, PR'S, 


HODGKIHSQN’S RESEARCHES ON IRON, 

*** YoL II, of the above consists of EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCHES on the 
STRENGTH and OTHER PROPERTIES of CAST IRON : with the development of 
new principles ; calculations deduced from them ; and inquiries, applicable to rigid 
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10 


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ROGERS ON IRON METALLURGY. 

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AN ELEMENTARY TREATISE ON IRON 
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With Analytical Tables of Iron-making Materials* 


By SAMUEL B* ROGERS, of Nant-y-GIo, 

Inventor of Iron-Bottoms to Puddling-Furnaces, and of the present system of pre- 
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life."— SfafardMira Jdiertisrr. 


PYNFS RULES FOR DRAWING. 

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PRACTICAL RULES ON DRAWING, 

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coutehx*, 

1 Practical Itttleu on Drawing,— On (line*. I 4 Practical Ttulea on Liiht and Shade* 

3 Ditto*— the Grecian and Roman Orders, b Practical 11 idea on Colour. 

3 Practical Rules on Drawing*— Perspective* l &c, &c. 


DOBSON and GAKBETTS STUDENT’S GUIDE, 

ill One Vol< t Iko, &tra cloih, fta. 

THE STUDENT'S GUIDE 

TO THE PRACTICE OF DESIGNING, MEASURING, AND VALUING 
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Edited by EDWARD DOBSON, Architect and Surveyor. 

Second Edition, with the Additions on Designs 

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11 


COTTAGES, VILLAS, AND COUNTRY HOUSES. 

In 4 to, 07 rtatu, U 1*. chth, 

DESIGNS AND EXAMPLES OF COTTAGES, 
VILLAS, AND COUNTRY HOUSES. 

Being the Studies of Eminent Architects and Builders, consisting of plans, elevations, 
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♦ 

RYDE’S TEXT BOOK FOR ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS, SURVEYORS, &c. 

In One large thick Vol S vo, with numerous engravings , 11. S s. 

A GENERAL TEXT BOOK, 

For the constant Use and Reference of Architects, Engineers, Surveyors, Solicitors, 
Auctioneers, Land Agents, and Stewards, in all their several and varied professional 
occupations ; and for the assistance and guidance of country gentlemen and others 
engaged in the Transfer, Management, or Improvement of Landed Property, con- 
taining Theorems, Formula?, Rules, and Tables in Geometry, Mensuration, and 
Trigonometry ; Land Measuring, Surveying, and Levelling ; Railway and Hydraulic 
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By EDWARD RYDE, Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor, 

Author of several Professional Works. 

To which arc added several Chapters on Agriculture and Landed Property, 

By Professor Donaldson, 

Author of several Works on Agriculture. 


Chapter I. Arithmetic. -Chap. II. Plane nml So- 
lid Geometry. — Chap. III. Mensuration.— Chap. IV. 
Trigonometry.- Chap. V. Conic Sections.— Chap. 
VI. Land Measuring.— Chap. VII. Land Surveying. 
—Chap. VI 11. Levelling.— Chap. IX. Plotting.— 
Chno. X. Computation of Areas.— Chap. XI. Copy- 
ing Maps. — Chap. XII. Railway Surveying.— Chap. 
Xill. Colonial Surveying.— Chap. XIV. llydrau 
lies in connection with Drainage, Sewerage, and 
Water Supply.— Chap. XV. Timber Measuring.— 
Chap. XVI. Axtilicers' work.— Chap. XV 11. Valua- 


tion of Estates.— Chap. XVIII. Valuation of Til- 
lage and Tenant Right.— Chap. XIX. Valuation of 
Parishes.— Chap. XX. Builder's Prices.— Chap. XXI. 
Dilapidations and Nunanccs.— Chap. XXll. The 
Law relating to Appraisers and Auctioneers.— Chau. 
XXI LI. Landlord and Tenaut.-Chap. XXIV. Ta- 
bles.— Chap. XXV. Stamp Laws,— Examples of Yil- 
las and Country Houses. 

APPENDIX ON LANDED PROPERTY, by 
Paoirsssoa Do.nalusuk, in Eight Chapters. 


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24 mo, cloth boards, 2s. 6d. 

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TEMPLETON’S WORKSHOP COMPANION. SIXTH EDITION. 


In 12 mo, price 5 bound and Uit&'cd, 

THE OPERATIVE MECHANIC’S WORKSHOP 
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By W. TEMPLETON, 

Author of “ The Engineer’s Common-Place Book,” &c. &c. 

Sixth edition, with eleven plates and the addition of Mechanical Tables for the use of 
Operative Smiths, Millwrights, Engineers, &c., and practical directions for the 
Smelting of Metallic Ores. To which also have been now added several useful and 
practical Rules in Hydraulics and Hydrodynamics, and an account of Dundas’s Steam 
Hammer. 


CONTENTS. 


Geometry— Geometry applied to Mechanics— De- 
cimal Arithmetic — Mensuration — Instrumental 
Arithmetic— Commercial Tables— Strength of Ma- 
terials -Mechanic Powers — Continuous Circular 


Motion— Friction— Properties of Water and Air- 
Steam Kntciue Boilers— Dundas’s Steam Hammer 
— Logarithms. 


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WEALE’S BUILDER’S AND CONTRACTOR’S 
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HINTS TO YOUNG ARCHITECTS. 


Comprising Advice to those who, while yet at school, arc destined to the profession ; 
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their practical operations ; and to direct them in their conduct as the responsible 
agents of their employers, and as the rightful judges of a contractor’s duty. 

By GEORGE WIGHTWICK, Architect, 

Author of “The Palace of Architecture,” &c. f &c. 


Preliminary hints tc young or 
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On serving his time 

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Ills plate on the door 

Orders, plan-drawing 

On his taste, study of interiors 

Interior arrangements 

"Warming and Ventilating 

Housebuilding, stabling 

(Jot tages and villas 

Model Specification 


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General Clauses 

Foundations 

Well 

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Bubble masonry with brick 
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Stone-cutting 

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„ Gothic only 

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13 


TREDGQLB’S CARPENTRY* FOURTH EDITION. 

In One large Voi 4 to., Zl. 2 sr, in ertra doth. 

THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF 
CARPENTRY ; 

A Treatise* on the pressure and equilibrium of timber framing the resistance of 
timber, and the construction of floors, arches, bridges, roofs, uniting iron and stone 
with timber, &c PJ -with practical rules and examples ; to which is added, an essay on 
the nature and properties of timber, including the method of seasoning, and the 
Causes and prevention of decay, with descriptions of the kinds of wood used in 
building ; also numerous tables of the seaut lings of timber for different purposes, 
the specific gravities of materials, 

By THOMAS TREDGOLD, Civil Engineer* 

Illustrated by fifty-three Engravings, a portrait of the author, and several Woodcuts. 
Fourth Edition, corrected and considerably enlarged* With an Appendix, containing 
specimens of various ancient and modern roefs. 

Edited by Fateh Barlow, F*R*B, 


1 Equilibrium and p?cj-we of 
beams. 

J rresmirfi of beams and centre 
■rif erav ity 

3 Equilibrium and pressure of 

beams and framing 

4 Noited flooring 
A to 9 Raufs 

It) hoofs [bat Rave been erected 
]] Woof of the iLdinghoufee at 
Ponies £Mo$cqvf 

IS i'LLLiitiojis and centre 

14 Centres fur rtofie bridges; 

centre used for the bridge al 
NuMiLllyi fur I lit; Waterloo 
hndge, mid Con on ISridse 

la Centres for urime bridEes 
Id Bridges 

17 Ditto, double pi n re 

15 Const ruction of brides 
1U B ridges, do Liidu plate 
lit) Bridges and joiuT£ 

21 Joints 

‘Jl Joints and straps 
Us Roof and cous-iruelinn of the 
PftiuUgcm, Oxford Steel 

24 Ditto 

25 Section of Roof of Hall, Park* 

bam Prison 

flC Section of roof of New Saloon, 
Academy of Arts, Florence 


COX vests Of PLAT us. 

2" Longitudinal section of ditto 
2d Tni*ss of ibe roof of UiO Ducal 
riding house, Modena, double 
- piatc 

20 Truncated roof of il it to 
150 Truss of roof of ditto. 

31 Scot Ion of the roof over the 

Exchange, Geneva, double 

32 Poet of tni&a qf roof over the 

new theatre at Ancona , 
ditto, Palazzo Vecchio, 
Florence ; ditto, Cathedral, 
Florence, double. 

33 Raufs of the Cathedral at 

Leghorn, double 

34 Detfdls of roof of ClirlsPa 

1; ok pit at. ditto 
53 Ditto 

3G Longitudinal nee L sort of Sr. 
Ih'.i.itaids Church, Fleet 
Street, double 

3“ Raid and plan of ditto, ditto 
2M He tails of ditto, ditto 
3U 'Truss, at the Thames Plate 
Glaus Woiki; tnt*& at the 
Princess's Theatre, Ox ford 
Street ; truss ut a bouse in 
Berkeley Square 

40 Roof of iron and ri tuber at 
Nottingham Yinier Works, 
treble plate 


41 Cqst.j ran raqf over the model* 
room of i lie Rutterley Com* 

O . treble 

ron roof over rise smith- 
cry of the ditto, ditto 
43 Iron and timber roof over 
tha engine manufactory of 
1 lie ditto, ditto 

44 Roof to liittjg'a College CIiGl- 
Itel, Cambridge, ditto 
43 Dittos transverse section 
4 it Details, ditto 
47 Details, ditto 

-IS Section of roof Great Northers 
Railway, London Terminus, 
Passenger Station 
-1(5 Suction a and demils of ditto 
30 Great Northern Railway, Lon- 
don Terminus, Goods,' Sca- 
ts ud, transverse section 
ol Iron, Roof made for the Clyde 
Trustee? for rise Quay sit 
Glasgow, with detail* 

32 Details of Iren roof erected for 
Messrs. Joseph Whitworth & 
Co,, Manchester 

33 Retails, &C-, of an Iron roof, 
erected at chc Galway Term U 
nus 


HANDY RODE FOR ACTUARIES, BANKERS, INSURANCE OFFICES, 
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In 1 2mo t doth, iirice &,?. 

THEORY OF COMPOUND INTEREST AND 


ANNUITIES, 


With TABLES of LOGARITHMS for the more difficult computations of Interest, 
Discount, Annuities, &q., in all their applications anti uses for Mercantile and Slate 
purposes, with a full and elaborate inti eduction* 

By FEDOR THOMAN, of the Society Credit Mobilier, Park. 


11 A TeTy powerful work, anil the Author bus a 
very remark able command of kis subject." — i*ra~ 
fe*&or A. d<t Morgan, 

u No banker, merchant, trn desm mi , or man of 
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* handy -book,' ■'*— iicrieHT. 


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Iron and Steel 

Boiler* and Engine* (Proportloni 

of) 

Boiler*, Furnace*,. and Chimes 
Calendar 

Cariwsntry and Joinery 
(..■fihk and Mall Gauging 
CuHtinjc s, sundry tor Sewers, Gu*- 
work.*, ire, 

Caat-iroit Column* and Girder* 
Chair* far Railway* 

Chimnryi, dimCBssiuiDSOl 
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Circular Arc* (Table* of) 

Circle, Cylinder, Sphere, fie. 

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Value* of Coals 

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perties nfMelJih ; on the tensile 
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Flooring 

French and English Scales 
Friction 

Fuel on the American Railways 
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Gas Engineers’ Calendar 


CONTENTS FOR 1800. 

Gauge* [List oO and Weight* of 
Galvanized Tinned Iron Sheets 
G inlet* (Cut- Iron} 
lUwksley 
licat ( tiJTecls of] 

High Water at Lioudon Bridge 

Howard 

Hydraulic* 

Hydrodynamics 

Institution of CHil Engineers 
I List or Members at) 

Institute of Brinish Architect* 
(List of Members of) 

Iron Bar 
Iron 

Roof* 

Knot Table* 

Latitude* and Longitude* [fie, 
Log, of Sines, Cottlues, Tangents, 
Marine Engine* 

Marine Screw Propulsion 

Mari&tier 

Masonry 

Mensuration [Epic tune of} 
Morin'S Experiment* on Friction ; 

on Rope* 

* aLural Sioej, fit, 

Neville, On Retaining Wall* 
Notes to accompany the Abbre- 
viated Table of Natural Sine* 
Peninsular and Oriental Steam 
Fleet 

Frobin Jsud Boilers 

Proportions of Marine Engine* 
Proportional Size* and Weight* 
of Hexagon- heuda and Nail* for 
Boll* 

Pumping 1 Water by Steam Power 
Rails 

ltcjmid [G,}; Messrs, Rennie 
Roof* 

Ropes, Experiments of 
Sewers 

Sleeper* for Railways 
Smith's. Sewer. Sound 
Sptdllt Gravity of Ga*e* 

Square, Rectangle, Cube. fie. 
Square and Ruuud Bur- iron 


Strength of Column* 

Strength of Materials of Con- 
struction 

Strength of Rolled T-Ircro 
Stone, Preservation of 
Slone* 

Table* of the Weight of Iron 
Castings for Timber Hoof* 
of the Properties of Differ- 
ent Kindjnf 'fi in her 

— of the Weight* of Rails 

and Chairs 

of the Weight, Pressure, 

fie. Of Materials, Cast-Iron, fic. 

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Plates, Copper- Pipe*. Cocks for 
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■ for the Diameterofa Wheel 

*>f a Given Pitch 

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Foot of Flat Bar- Iron, of n 
Superficial Foot of Various Me- 
tan, fie. 

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Font of Cast-iron Pipe* 

of the D lame ter of Sol id or 

Cylinder of Caat.lroru Ac. 

— - of the Diameter and Thick- 
ness of Metal of Hollow Co- 
lumns of Cast-Iron 

of Cast-Iron Stanchion* 

- — — of Strength of Cast-Iron 
Ear* 

of the Values of Earthwork 

of Weight* and Measure* 

of Natural Sine* 

Tee lb of Wheel* 

Trdford'a Memorandum Book 
Thermometer* 

Timber for Carpentry and Joinery 

Tredirold’* Rule 

Waterworks 

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